Tennis: Querrey snuffs out Del Potro's hopes of fairy tale return

Sam Querrey (left) shaking hands with Juan Martin del Potro after winning his semi-final match at the Delray Beach Open, on Feb 20, 2016.
Sam Querrey (left) shaking hands with Juan Martin del Potro after winning his semi-final match at the Delray Beach Open, on Feb 20, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Juan Martin del Potro's return to tennis fell short of a fairy tale ending on Saturday as the Argentinian lost to American Sam Querrey 7-5, 7-5 in the semi-final of the Delray Beach Open.

The former US Open champion Del Potro made his comeback at Delray Beach after an 11-month layoff following two surgeries on his left wrist.

He had looked strong in his run to the semi-finals but Querrey checked his momentum by breaking his powerful serve in each set at 5-5 - the only two breaks of the match.

Del Potro, 27, was aiming to recapture his magic at Delray Beach where he enjoyed comeback success by winning the 2011 title after fighting his way back from wrist surgery.

Former world No. 4 Del Potro, who stunned none other than Roger Federer in the 2009 final at Flushing Meadows, has been frustrated by a succession of injuries since his sole Grand Slam title.

Ranked outside the top 1,000 at Delray Beach, he showed flashes of his old form, displaying good court coverage and growing confidence in his groundstrokes throughout the week save for two poor service games against Querrey.

Querrey will face Rajeev Ram in the final after the American upset fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-3 in the other semi-final.