Article

Del Potro hoping for Maradona inspiration

26 February 2013 20:57

Juan Martin del Potro hopes Diego Maradona can help inspire him to victory at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Maradona, widely regarded as the greatest footballer of all time, had been due to watch Argentine compatriot Del Potro in his opening-round match against Marcos Baghdatis, which he won 4-6 6-4 7-6 on Tuesday.

Instead, Maradona was in Italy where he is fighting a legal case over a tax bill, but del Potro expects him to arrive in Dubai later this week.

"It's going to be a pleasure to share some moments with him," del Potro said.

"I've known him since I was little, and always when you have a few words from him you get like 'Oh my God' you know, it's Maradona."

The fourth seed says with so many big names competing in the tournament it will be tough to progress, but believes Maradona can help push him to the title.

Del Potro was pleased with his comeback against Cypriot Bagahadis, and will meet India's Somdev Devvarman in the second round.

"I played fantastic forehands to keep playing this match, and then in the end you need a bit of luck to win," del Potro said.

"I think I played solid in the important points at the time."

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