• Del Potro back in Argentina for respiratory recovery

    5/19/13 9:50 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Del Potro back in Argentina for respiratory recovery Juan Martin Del Potro's brief visit to Rome for this week's Masters 1000 resulted in a long-awaited meeting with Argentine Pope Francis along with a third-round exit at the hands of Benoit Paire.

    Now it turns out that the former US Open winner has flown back to South America on doctor's orders.

    Del Potro presented the new pontiff with the beloved racquet he used to win the 2009 US Open, a stick which he has failed to let go of in the intervening years.

    The player's Facebook page says the trans-Atlantic flight was on doctor's orders, with the world No. 7 due for more treatment on the bronchitis which forced him to miss ATP clay events in Portugal and Madrid before his short Italian stay. It said that Dr. Roberto Peidro has asked his patient to return "in order to follow an intensive physical recovery program, with the aim to put him back into full shape in the least possible time."

    The wording makes it extremely unclear if the South American will front up for the French Open starting next Sunday. Del Potro's best Paris showing was a semifinal four years ago. The post adds that the player from the provincial city of Tandil will be working to fully recover form his respiratory issues.

    If he heads to Paris, Del Potro will bring a 2-2 record on clay, with one victory each in Monte Carlo and Rome.

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