Argentine Juan Martin del Potro plays Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka at the ATP 250 opener in Delray Beach, Florida. The match will be played on Tuesday, February 19 and it kick-starts at 8 pm local time (1 am BST on Wednesday).
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Juan Martin del Potro v Yoshihito Nishioka Head to Head
This will be the first meeting of both players on the ATP circuit.
Del Potro Returns to the Tour After a Long Layoff
Juan Martin del Potro returns to the men’s tour after an extended injury lay-off. 2018 was one of the best seasons of his career, where he reached the top three of the men’s rankings. He also reached his second Grand Slam final at the US Open, losing to Novak Djokovic, as well as winning his first ATP 1000 Masters titles at Indian Wells.
An unfortunate knee injury had him miss out of tournaments at the end of the year, especially the ATP Tour Finals at London, that he had already qualified for.
After a break and recovery time, where the Argentine also missed the Australian Open this year, he looks to use the Delray Beach ATP 250 as a good launching ground for hopefully another successful year ahead. For the third time in four years, Delpotro will begin his campaign for the year at Delray Beach, where he won the title in 2011 and began a return from a long injury gap involving multiple wrist injuries, in 2016.
Del Potro is familiar with the conditions and the venue and will be hoping for a deep run here this week.
Can Nishioka Surprise Del Potro on His Return?
Japanese Yoshihito Nishioka, only 23 years of age, has been on the circuit for a few years and met intermittent success, but also been plagued by injuries. After a successful junior career, he made his ATP tour debut in 2014. Nishioka has reached as high as 58 in the rankings in March 2017.
However, a torn ACL had him out for most of the season. He made a comeback in 2018, winning his first ATP singles title at Shenzhen and is currently ranked number 75.
Nishioka has been branded as a rising star with potential and intermittently shown glimpses on the professional circuit of what he is capable of. He will be hoping for a more consistent season, injury free in 2019, and some better results to help him into the top 50 of the ATP rankings.
del Potro v Nishioka Predictions & Tips
Despite all his potential, this will be an uphill task for Nishioka to pull an upset. Depotro is skilled, experienced and familiar with the venue, and should be able to use this as a good opener to get some good match practice and confidence.
The one challenge will be that del Potro maybe a little rusty after a several month gap from the tour. Expect del Potro to brush off any initial rust and proceed to the next round in straight sets. Unibet are offering 23/25 for del Potro to win in two.
You can watch & bet on Juan Martin del Potro v Yoshihito Nishioka on Tuesday, February 19. The match begins at 1 am BST on Wednesday.