Argentina tennis star Juan Martin del Potro will launch the 2017 season at Auckland's ASB Tennis Classic in January.
Tournament director Karl Budge said del Potro "wants to hit balls and get into a groove going into the Australian Open" at which he will be unseeded, reports Sport24.
The former US Open champion, who played only six tournaments in 2014 and 2015 because of a wrist injury, was named the ATP's Comeback Player of the Year in 2016 post his remarkable comeback after lifting his ranking from 1045 in February to 38, reports Sport24.
Del Potro reached the finals of the men's singles event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, which he lost to British ace Andy Murray 7-5, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
After that match in June, he defeated both Murray and Novak Djokovic. And most recently, he steered Argentina to its first Davis Cup victory.
In 2009, the Argentine won the Auckland tournament and later on, won that year's US Open.
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