Del Potro expects to miss Australian Open

Juan Martin del Potro expects to miss next month’s Australian Open after admitting he is struggling to be fully fit for the season’s first major.

Del Potro enjoyed an impressive return from wrist surgery in the final months of the 2016 campaign after winning a silver medal at the summer’s Olympics and then helping Argentina win the Davis Cup for the first time in their history.

The ex-US Open champion – who has been plagued by injury problems – is due to feature in a couple of exhibition matches in Argentina next week.

However, del Potro has raised major question marks over whether he will be play a part in Melbourne next month.

“What I need is to have someone get me physically fit enough to last the whole year,” he said.

“There’s a fortnight to the Australia Open and I’m unlikely to make that objective.

“We’re looking at what the priority is. If tennis waited for me for two years, Australia can wait for me for one more.”

Del Potro admits he is also facing a race against time to participate in Argentina’s defence of their Davis Cup title against Italy, in February.

“There’s still some time to the first tie against Italy but not so much and it’s going to be on clay and that’s a surface I struggle on,” he added.