Del Potro rules out defending U.S. Open title

By Rex Gowar

Del Potro, who had surgery on his right wrist on May 4, said the Paris Open indoor tournament in November was a realistic comeback target.

"If all goes well, I'd return after the U.S. Open," Del Potro said on his arrival in Buenos Aires from a check-up with his surgeon in the United States.

"The tournament is and always will be very special for me, all my life, but I don't want to rush things," the rangy 21-year-old told reporters at Ezeiza international airport.

"If I have to return next year or at Paris Bercy, I will," said Del Potro, referring to the Paris Open.

The nagging wrist problem had troubled the right-hander since before his fourth-round exit at the Australian Open in January. He has not played since.

"Thankfully, I've already undergone the operation and everything went well. Now I just have to recover," said Del Potro, who will continue his recovery in his home town of Tandil, 350 km south of Buenos Aires.

"I don't want to get desperate in rehab and I'm comfortable with the fact that if I do my time I'll be playing again on the circuit," he said.

"I know it's going to take a long time to get back to being among the top players like I was before, but what I want more than anything is to return."

Argentina's chances of reaching a third Davis Cup final since 2006 will also decrease with Del Potro's absence from their quarter-final in Russia in July. The Russians beat Argentina in the 2006 final in Moscow.

(Editing by Ed Osmond)