Sony Open Notebook

Argentine star Juan Martin del Potro has wrist surgery

 
 
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Lucky and good:</span> Benjamin Becker, a lucky loser who got into the Sony Open when Juan Martin del Potro pulled out, is in the fourth round.
Lucky and good: Benjamin Becker, a lucky loser who got into the Sony Open when Juan Martin del Potro pulled out, is in the fourth round.
Joel Auerbach / AP

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

Argentine star Juan Martin del Potro underwent wrist surgery on Monday in Rochester, Minn., and will miss the rest of the season while he recuperates.

He posted a photo of himself from his hospital bed on his Facebook page and sent a bilingual note to his fans.

“Hi everyone, here I am, still sore from the surgery. Luckily everything went well. Thank you very much for the nice messages you are sending me,” he wrote.

“Hola a todos, acá todavía dolorido por la operación. Por suerte salió todo bien. Muchas gracias por las muestras de afecto de todos ustedes.’’

His fellow athletes wish him a speedy recovery.

“Oh, that’s really bad news,” Stanislas Wawrinka said. “As a tennis player, as a sportsman, you don’t want to get injury. He’s really unlucky since he won the U.S. Open in 2009. He already had one year for one wrist. Now he’s going to get nine, 10 months for the other.

“We all hope he’s going to be fine. It’s going to be a tough way to come back, but he did it once. We all hope he’s going to come back a second one.”

Said Andy Murray: “He’s a very tall, tall guy, and for him playing many tournaments on a high level week in and week out is very difficult. His body is suffering, and it’s unfortunate that somebody of his quality is not performing here. Tennis definitely misses him. He’s always one of the contenders to win big titles. He’s very entertaining to watch. He’s a nice guy. I wish him all the best and quick recovery.”

Becker advances

One beneficiary of del Potro’s injury is Benjamin Becker of Germany, who got into the main draw as a lucky loser when the Argentine pulled out.

Becker on Monday reached the fourth round with a 6-3, 7-5 win over Slovenia qualifier Aljaz Bedene. Becker is the first lucky loser to advance that far in Key Biscayne since Ivan Ljubicic in 2001.

Family ties

American qualifier CoCo Vandeweghe lost her fourth-round match to Serena Williams, but she surely wins over the entire Sony Open field when it comes to athletic family genes.

Her mother, Tauna, is a two-time Olympian in swimming (1976) and basketball (1984). Her grandfather, Ernie Vandeweghe, is a former New York Knick. Her grandmother’s brother, Mel Hutchins, played seven years in the NBA. And her uncle, Kiki, played and coached in the NBA, was general manager of the Denver Nuggets and is now the NBA vice president of operations. (Side note: her grandmother, Colleen Kay Hutchins, was Miss America in 1952.)

CoCo was asked on Monday whether she has played tennis or basketball against her uncle, Kiki.

“I have done both,” she said. “I have played H-O-R-S-E against him with my older brother, so it’s two against one in H-O-R-S-E. He killed us. But in tennis, he has a winning record against me, but he only played me once when I was like 12 years old. He won’t play me again because he knows he can’t beat me now.”

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