Cape Town - Kevin Anderson’s struggles continued when he lost his first round match to Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro at the Delray Beach Open on Monday.
The former US Open champion posted a 6-4, 6-4 win over the South African tennis No 1.
It was Del Potro’s first match of 2017, having skipped the Australian Open to better regain fitness after helping Argentina win the Davis Cup last November.
Del Potro, a sliver medallist at the 2016 Olympics, has struggled on the injury front for several years, having undergone four wrist surgeries since 2010.
Del Potro won the Delray Beach title in 2011, while Anderson took the 2012 crown.
It was Anderson’s second loss in a row in 2017, having started his campaign with a first round exit to Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur at the Memphis Open last week.
The 30-year-old Anderson was ranked as high as No 10 in the ATP Rankings in 2015 before an injury-plagued 2016 saw his ranking drop significantly.
He is currently ranked 75th in the world by the ATP.
Results on Tuesday from the ATP Delray Beach Open (x denotes seed):
Jack Sock (USA x3) bt Radu Albot (MDA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/2)
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) bt Dustin Brown (GER) 6-3, 6-3
Damir Dzumhur (BIH) bt Konstantin Kravchuk (RUS) 6-3, 6-4
Steve Darcis bt Bernard Tomic (AUS x6) 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
Borna Coric (CRO) bt Santiago Giraldo (COL) 6-2, 6-3
Milos Raonic (CAN x1) bt Tim Smyczek (USA) 6-1, 6-4
Steve Johnson (USA x5) bt Stefan Kozlov (USA) 6-1, 6-4
Donald Young (USA) bt Ivo Karlovic (CRO x2) 7-6 (7/5), 7-6 (7/3)
Jared Donaldson (USA) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 6-3
Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) bt Tommy Haas (GER) 6-7 (4/7), 7-6 (10/8), 6-2
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG x7) bt Kevin Anderson (RSA) 6-4, 6-4