Argentine fans will be missing one of their favorite players at the Sony Open this year. Juan Martin del Potro, the world No. 8 and former U.S. Open champion, withdrew early Wednesday with a left wrist injury.
He received treatment after withdrawing from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., two weeks ago and flew to Miami, hoping the wrist would improve in time for the Key Biscayne tournament. But he said he wasn’t feeling fit to play.
“[I] still feel pain in my left wrist and I don’t feel competitive to go on the court,” Del Potro wrote on his Facebook page. “It’s a pity because this is a special tournament for me since there are many Latin fans and Argentines in particular. In the next few days I will visit my doctor again to determine the following steps.”
Del Potro has pulled out or retired from a match in his past three tournaments. He had a first-round bye at the Sony Open and would have played the winner of the Ryan Harrison- Federico Delbonis match in the second round. Lucky loser Benjamin Becker will replace del Potro in the draw.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Murray, Lendl split
If Andy Murray is to defend his Sony Open title, he will have to do so without the guidance of legend Ivan Lendl.
Murray announced on his website Wednesday that he parted ways with Lendl, who coached him for two years.
Under the tutelage of the former Czech great, Murray won the 2012 U.S. Open, the 2012 Olympic gold medal and the 2013 Wimbledon title.
“I’m eternally grateful to Ivan for all his hard work,” said Murray, 26. “We’ve learned a lot as a team and it will be of benefit in the future.”
Lendl said he wants to spend more time on his projects, the golf course and playing exhibition matches.
“Working with Andy over the last two years has been a fantastic experience for me,” Lendl said. “He is a first-class guy. Having helped him achieve his goal of winning major titles, I feel like it is time for me to concentrate on some of my own projects, including playing more events around the world, which I am really enjoying.
“I will always be in Andy’s corner and wish him nothing but great success as he too goes into a new phase of his career.”
Murray has not said whom he plans to hire as his next coach. In the meantime, he will keep working with former University of Miami player Dani Vallverdu, who has been one of Murray’s closest friends since they attended the same academy as teenagers.
Murray had struggled to win his most important matches before hiring Lendl. In their first year together, Murray beat Roger Federer in the London Olympic final and then knocked off Novak Djokovic to win the 2012 U.S. Open.
But his most memorable win was last summer, when he broke a 77-year British drought and won Wimbledon, beating Djokovic in the final.
“He’s made me learn more from the losses than I did before, and he’s always been very honest with me and believed in me when other people maybe didn’t,” Murray said of Lendl after his Wimbledon win. “Ivan’s been very patient, as I’m not always easy to deal with.’’