Juan Martín del Potro’s comeback tale is a convenient saga for the United States Open, a tournament that can use another headliner to anchor its two weeks of multiple sessions.
Del Potro, who has had four wrist operations and attempted just as many hopeful returns to the tour, made the most of his wild-card entry Tuesday with a convincing 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (3) victory in the first round over Diego Schwartzman, a fellow Argentine. The 6-foot-6 del Potro, a former Open champion, has been rebuilding his powerful game recently, defeating Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal on his way to a silver medal at the Rio Olympics.
“That means big things to myself,” del Potro said after the win. “I’m so glad to be a part of the tournament once again after three years. I really appreciate the wild-card chance, the chance to play; that’s important for me. The crowd makes me feel special. They create things on every court.”
There were many moments to savor at Louis Armstrong Stadium. Del Potro, a fan favorite, dwarfed his 5-foot-7 opponent, and his game was simply too big for Schwartzman. Del Potro’s slice backhands kept the rallies alive when necessary, while his heavy, flat…