This week, following an extended recovery time, Juan Martin del Potro made his first appearance on the professional tennis circuit since last autumn. For the 28-year-old Argentine, the season of 2017 is going to be an endurance test. Last year, he stunned everyone making his way back to the ATP top after a long series of injuries that sidelined him over the past seasons.

Now, in the main draw at Delray Beach Open in Florida, the former US Open champion had the first test by facing a former top player, namely Kevin Anderson from South Africa.

Del Potro played smart

The encounter went on a predictable path having del Potro in charge. Anderson, now ranked as the world no. 75, was not able to reach out the pace of the Argentine who went on winning the match in two symmetrical sets by 6-4 6-4.

The opening set saw Anderson winning his service game but then he failed to convert a break point in the next one. From that point on, the pressure shifted on Kevin's shoulders and it was only a matter of time until del Potro took the wheel of the match. He broke on Anderson's serve once, in the 7th game of the set, and it was the right amount of pressure required as capped the set in 46 minutes.

The 2nd act witnessed a similar scenario having the Argentine in front of the action.

He broke his opponent's serve in the 3rd game strongly keeping his nose in front up until the end. On his own service game, he was solid as the rock as he did not face a single break point during the 2nd set.

Despite being a tight result, except for the first set struggle, he put in the minimum required to get away with a swift victory.

In the next round, he is set to play against Damir Dzumhur (79 ATP) from Bosnia.

Del Potro plans to surpass last year's results

Back in 2016, as he was ranked way below the floating line, his schedule was quite unpredictable. In the first half of the season, he was the chance to play significant ATP event as a wild card entry.

In 2017, ranked inside the top 40, he has some certitudes under his belt which is great. As he stated the other day for the ATP official website, he already knows most of this year's schedule. Also, he intends to play more than those 12 ATP events of last year.