Sydney, 9 December 2011 |

World No.11 and former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro has confirmed he will begin the 2012 season at the Apia International Sydney.

The Argentine will return to the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre in January for the second straight year and will join fellow former top 10 players Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis in the men’s draw.

Del Potro, who was granted a wildcard into the event earlier this year, said he had great memories of his time in Sydney and was looking forward to returning.

“Sydney is a great city and I like the tournament very much,” Del Potro said.

“In Sydney they gave me one of the first wildcards after my injury and I appreciate this very much from then.

“The people at the tournament and also in Sydney were very nice to me and my team and I remember this.

“I hope I can do very well in January because the tournament has a great history and tradition and a lot of players from Argentina have played in it and done very well.

“I would love to see all the fans from Argentina come to the tennis to support me.”

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Tournament Director Craig Watson welcomed the addition of Del Potro to the Apia International Sydney men’s field.

“We are delighted that Juan Martin Del Potro will begin his season at the Apia International Sydney again,” Watson said.

“He played one of the matches of the tournament in 2011 against Feliciano Lopez in the first round and I know he won a lot of new fans in Sydney with that gutsy performance.

“He is close to getting back to the form that took him to the US Open title in 2009, as well as wins over Federer and Nadal.

“I understand that many observers believe that he will be back in the world’s top 5 before too long and another Grand Slam title could be on the cards in 2012.

“I’m certain he will come to the Apia International Sydney early in the New Year fired up and ready to get his season off to a winning start.”