Argentine a shock early exit at the first major tournament of the new season.
Juan Martin del Potro promised to keep working for an elusive second Grand Slam title after yet another chance slipped through his fingers at the Australian Open.
Expectations are habitually high for the towering world number five and optimism rose anew when he thumped Bernard Tomic in last week’s Sydney International final.
But the 2009 US Open champion struggled in Melbourne and he was taken to four sets by qualifier Rhyne Williams in the first round, before crashing out to Spain’s Roberto Agut Bautista in the second.
It was another disappointment for the 25-year-old, who has reached just one Grand Slam semi-final, last year at Wimbledon, since stunning Roger Federer to win his lone major title five years ago.
But despite going out to Bautista, the world number 62, the six foot six (1.98m) Argentine said he would use the 4-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 as a learning experience.
“I need to keep working. I already won the tournament last week, and that give me confidence to improve my game,” said early Friday.
“But this kind of match also help me to learn something, and I will try to take my positive things about this match and change the negative to improve my game.”
He added that he wasn’t the only top-rated player to lose in the early rounds of a Grand Slam, after Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer went out in the first and second rounds at Wimbledon last year.
“I think sometimes the favourites lose very early in a Grand Slam, like Federer in Wimbledon or Rafa, and then other ones in the US Open. Here it’s my turn to get out very early in the tournament,” he said.
“But the season just started. I will try to be positive for the rest of the year.”