SHANGHAI (AP)—U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro retired because of right wrist tendinitis while trailing Jurgen Melzer of Austria 7-5, 2-1 Wednesday at the Shanghai Masters.
The third-seeded Argentine, who was shaking his right hand before packing up his rackets, said that he had similar wrist tendinitis this year.
“I’m a little sorry,” Del Potro said. “It’s a big tournament here in Shanghai, very important for me. But if I want to have a good finish this season, I have to recover, go home to be in good shape for the last tournaments.”
Del Potro has already qualified for next month’s season-ending ATP tournament in London.
Top-seeded Rafael Nadal and second-seeded Novak Djokovic also advanced. Nadal defeated James Blake 6-2, 6-7 (4), 6-4—the second straight week in which the Spaniard needed three sets to defeat the American.
“Every match is important for me now,” Nadal said. “I had the match under control, set and a break, playing really well, that’s true. I think I deserve to win the match, because most of the time, I think I played better than James.”
Last week, Nadal beat Blake 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-3 in the second round of the China Open.
Djokovic reached the third round by beating Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-3, 6-1.
“First matches are always the ones which are trickiest, especially if you’re playing against a lower-ranked player who has basically nothing to lose,” said Djokovic, who is coming off a win in Beijing last week.
Besides Del Potro, 15th-seeded Tommy Haas of Germany also retired from his match. Haas lost the first set to German qualifier Rainer Schuettler 6-4 and retired with a right shoulder injury.
On Tuesday, fourth-seeded Andy Roddick retired from his match against Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland with a left knee injury.