Sports

Del Potro to open 2017 season in Auckland

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro, holds the trophy after Argentina defeated Croatia in the Davis Cup finals, at the news conference in Zagreb, Croatia, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro, holds the trophy after Argentina defeated Croatia in the Davis Cup finals, at the news conference in Zagreb, Croatia, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro will attempt to extend his remarkable comeback in 2016 when he launches the 2017 season at Auckland's ASB Tennis Classic in January.

Del Potro, who played only six tournaments in 2014 and 2015 because of a wrist injury, was named the ATP's Comeback Player of the Year after lifting his ranking from 1,045 in February to 38.

He reached the singles final at the Rio de Janiero Olympics and since June has beaten world No. 1s Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. More recently, he steered Argentina to its first Davis Cup victory.

Del Potro won the Auckland tournament in 2009, going on to win that year's U.S. Open.

Tournament director Karl Budge said del Potro "wants to hit balls and get into a groove going into the Australian Open" at which he will be unseeded.