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Del Potro Confirmed For Estoril Title Defence

Estoril, Portugal

del Potro© AFP/Getty ImagesDefending champion Juan Martin del Potro will return to the Estadio Nacional in April.

Juan Martin del Potro will return to the Estadio Nacional this year in a bid to retain his Estoril Open title.

The Argentinean, who will be making his third appearance at the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament, beat Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-2 in last year's final.

The 23rd edition of the Estoril Open runs from 28 April to 6 May 2012.

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"I'm delighted to have the chance of defending my title at the Estoril Open, a tournament of which I keep found memories, not only for the victory itself," said del Potro, "but above all for the fact that it was in Portugal, where I fully recovered my confidence after the wrist injury."

Tournament Director Joao Lagos said, "It is always a true pleasure to welcome back a former Estoril Open champion, even more when he comes with the desire of retaining his title, as it is the case with Juan Martin del Potro - the first top player we are proud to announce in the same week as he returns to the world's Top 10."

Del Potro, who is currently No. 10 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, reached the Australian Open quarter-finals (l. to Federer) earlier this month.

When asked about his decision to return to Estoril, del Potro said, "In 2011, I lost in Paris to Novak Djokovic, at that time producing one of the best seasons ever seen in tennis history. But I believe I can go further this year, and there's no better way to start preparing Roland Garros, that doing it at the Estoril Open.

"Starting with the magnificent scenario of the Cascais Miragem Hotel, to the lounge services, the food quality and the hospitality of all the tournament staff, everything went just perfect last year. Of course, I couldn't forget the meeting with my fellow countrymen from SL Benfica, and their support at the tennis tournament, which is something that really pleased me."

In 2011, on his comeback from a wrist injury, he earned the ATP Comeback Of The Year award after capturing two titles (also the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships).

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