Del Potro improving 'day by day'

Juan Martin del Potro says he has made the "right decision" playing in Rotterdam despite being plagued with a left wrist injury.

Back in 2010, the Argentine player was sidelined with a right wrist problem that ultimately resulted in an operation and a nine-month break.

Returning to the tour, he worked his way back inside the top ten only for his left wrist to begin causing him pain.

The injury led to a disappointing second round loss in the season-opening grand slam in Australia and a minor lay-off.

"I had played well in Sydney, but when I got to Melbourne the surface was faster and the balls were different," del Potro told ATPWorldTour.com.

"I started to feel something wrong at the beginning of the tournament [against Rhyne Williams]. After my five-set match against [Roberto] Bautista Agut, that is when I sought advice from my doctor."

Del Potro visited Doctor Richard Berger, his physician during his first wrist injury, and also spent time with a physio at the Mayo Clinic.

Now, weeks later, he feels ready to return to the court.

"I did not play tennis or go to the gym. As a result, I have lost muscle and definition in my left arm.

"But my doctor has given me the confidence to play here in Rotterdam and, as the defending champion I feel that it is the right decision.

"I am having physio treatment each day and I complete special 10 or 15-minute warm ups prior to each practice session. Every step is being monitored by Dr. Berger, just in case I feel different.

"By using resistance bands and balls of different pressure, I am able to twist and flex my left wrist in order to build up strength and muscle again in my arm.

"If I hit my backhands without confidence, I resort to hitting slices or different strokes. That isn't good enough to play at this level. The injury has nothing to do with the way I grip the racquet."

The good news for fans of the world no4 is that he is confident his wrist is getting better as he gears up to take on Gael Monfils in the first round in Rotterdam and launch at attack on a top three position in the rankings.

"Wrist is improving day by day. Dr. Berger is hopeful that my wrist will recover very fast. It is improving slowly, but at least it is improving.

"This year, I am trying to find a different treatment to fix the injury, to ensure that I can play the whole season.

"I am positive. I would like to remain in the Top 5 [of the Emirates ATP Rankings] and potentially rise into the Top 3. It will be difficult to pass Rafa [Nadal], [Novak] Djokovic and [Stanislas] Wawrinka, particularly after his recent Australian Open win. But I'm not the only one in the Top 10 who has a lot of points to defend.

"I hope to do well in the Grand Slams and, at the end of the season, be close to the Top 3. Wawrinka took his chance and he got it. I want to again."