Next month's Australian Open may be coming too soon for Juan Martín del Potro

The Argentinian is struggling to be fit for the event, which has also raised its prize fund for 2017

BY Newstalk 13:53 Wednesday 21 December 2016, 13:53 21 Dec 2016

Image: Owen Humphreys PA Wire/PA Images

Juan Martín del Potro is a doubt for next month's Australian Open after admitting he may not be fit in time of the event.

The Argentinian, who made his return to the court in 2016 after recovering from a wrist injury, won silver in at the Olympics and defeated Croatia's Martin Cilic to earn Argentina's first Davis Cup trophy in their history.

His story is one of the more remarkable of 2016, but with the Australian Open looming he concedes he may not have enough time to get himself up to speed.

"There’s a fortnight to the Australia Open and I’m unlikely to make that objective," he said on Tuesday. "We’re looking at what the priority is. If tennis waited for me for two years, Australia can wait for me for one more."

He added: "What I need is to have someone get me physically fit enough to last the whole year."

Meanwhile, there'll be more prize money on offer at next year's Australian Open.

As things stand, the near $50m AUS pot will be second only to the US Open - with the singles champions getting two-point-two million pounds.

The biggest increases come for qualifying and first round losers - in what Tennis Australia says is part of an attempt to tackle corruption.

It's after a report during this year's tournament alleged concerns over betting patterns among lower-ranked players in the sport.


LeBron James and Kevin Durant boost Nike shares

13:16 Wednesday 21 December 2016 2 Minute Read

Jason Quigley hints at a "very exciting" 2017 to come after continuing his unbeaten streak

21:24 Tuesday 20 December 2016 2 Minute Read

Burnley officially re-sign Joey Barton

16:53 Tuesday 20 December 2016 1 Minute Read

Connacht receive major boost as Tom McCartney signs contract extension

13:24 Monday 19 December 2016 2 Minute Read
Off The Ball


The very best bits of Off The Ball delivered every week