30 Nov 2016

Former US Open champ coming to Auckland

10:30 am on 30 November 2016

The former US Open champion and Rio Olympic silver medallist Juan Martin del Potro has joined the men's draw for Auckland's ASB Tennis Classic in January.

Out of the game for nearly two years and forced to undergo three wrist surgeries del Potro was considering retirement, but he returned to the game this season and climbed from world number 1,145 to his current ranking of 38.

Argentina tennis player Juan Martin del Potro.

Argentina tennis player Juan Martin del Potro. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The 28-year-old won this year's ATP comeback player of the year award and helped Argentina claim their maiden Davis Cup title this week.

Del Potro fought back from two sets down to beat world number 6 Marin Cilic in five sets in a match spanning almost five hours to take Argentina to 2-2 and set up a decisive fifth rubber.

His teammate Federico Delbonis then swept aside Croatia's final hope Ivo Karlovic in straight sets to take the Davis Cup.

Since June, the 198cm del Potro has beaten two current world number ones in Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic as well as tennis powerhouses Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal.

It will be the second time he's come to Auckland, having won the title as the top seed in 2009 after beating American Sam Querry in the final.

He went on to win the US Open later that year.

Juan Martin del Potro in action in Sydney last January

Juan Martin del Potro in action. Photo: Photosport

Tournament director Karl Budge said he is one of the real highlights of the 2017 men's draw.

"Juan Martin is the man of the moment and the bookies favourite for the title in Auckland," Budge said.

"The fact he is unseeded and can land anywhere on the draw will be the real talking point to see who he plays on Monday or Tuesday.

"His year has been incredible, especially to beat two current world number ones.

"It's a hell of a comeback. He is the player that none of the big four want to draw in Melbourne."

Here is the Full list of seeded players for the 2017 men's classic (world ranking in brackets):

1. Roberto Bautista Agut ESP (14)

2. John Isner USA (19)

3. David Ferrer ESP (21)

4. Jack Sock USA (23)

5. Albert Ramos--Vinolas ESP (27)

6. Feliciano Lopez ESP (28)

7. Steve Johnson USA (33)

8. Marcos Baghdatis CYP (36)

9. Juan Martin Del Potro ARG (38)

10. Joao Sousa POR (43)

11. Diego Schwartzman ARG (52)

12. Karen Khachanov RUS (53)

13. Stephane Robert FRA (54)

14. Jiri Vesely CZE (55)

15. Bagnis Facundo ARG (56)

16. Tommy Robredo ESP (57)

17. Malek Jaziri TUN (58)

18. Robin Haase NED (59)

19. Adrian Mannarino FRA (60)

20. Taylor Fritz USA (76)