Only three tournaments into his return from left wrist surgery, Argentine tennis player Juan Martin Del Potro will now prepare to face off against third-ranked Swiss Roger Federer in the second round of the Miami Open on Friday.

Juan Martin Del Potro To Face Roger Federer On Comeback Trail For Both

Del Potro, 27, defeated countryman Guido Pella 6-0, 7-6 (7/4) Wednesday in his opening match at the ATP and WTA hard-court event.

Del Potro rolled through his first set in 29 minutes, Pella having as many unforced errors, 14, as points in the set. Pella battled back in the second set, saving a set point in the 10th game, but dropped three of the last four points in the tiebreaker, netting a backhand volley with the last to lose after 87 minutes.

Federer underwent knee surgery on February 3 and as a seed had a first-round bye.


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“I’m going to try to play my best tennis against Roger,” Del Potro said. “We’re both coming off injuries but I think it will be a really good match.”

Del Potro, former World No. 4, is now ranked 366th due to his long injury layoff. He made it to the semifinals in last month’s Delray Beach Tournament, and was ousted in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Federer, who has won 17 Grand Slam singles titles, has a 15-5 career record against Del Potro. However, the Argentine defeated Federer in the 2009 US Open final. Federer had won all six matches against Del Potro before that.

It has been since the 2012 London Olympics that the pair met on an outdoor hardcourt surface like the one they will play on this Friday.

Del Potro is now headed to his eighth Miami Open. His best showing came in 2009, when he lost to the eventual champion, Scotsman Andy Murray, in the semifinals.

Federer, 34, won titles in Miami in 2005 and 2006 and this year was a finalist at Brisbane and Australian Open semi-finalist before his operation.

“It’s great to have Roger back,” top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic said. “He is such an important player for our sport with his personality and all he has achieved in his career.”

Caption: KEY BISCAYNE, FL – MARCH 22: Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina returns a shot to Guido Pella of Argentina during the Miami Open presented by Itau at Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 23, 2016 in Key Biscayne, Florida. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

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