Del Potro shrugs off injury to lead Argentine Davis bid

Juan Martin del Potro has shaken off concerns surrounding his fitness and will lead Argentina into battle against the Czech Republic in their Davis Cup World Group semi-final this weekend.

Del Potro has long struggled with a problem in his left wrist that affects his backhand and was advised by doctors to rest for two weeks rather than take part in the tie in Buenos Aires.

But instead the former US Open winner, ranked eighth in the world, will face Radek Stepanek in the first singles rubber on Friday on the clay surface at the Parque Roca venue.

"I will push myself once again and give my all," said Del Potro, who turns 24 later this month.

"It will be something different for me to play in the first rubber of the tie, but I will have the crowd behind me and I will do the best I can in my condition.

"It was not an easy decision to play, but I will try not to think about that."

Argentine captain Martin Jaite added that he was confident Del Potro, who reached the last eight at the US Open last week, would cope.

"He is one of these players who doesn't need to do much preparation before an event like this," said Jaite.

"We are relaxed and happy to be able to call on him."

The absence of David Nalbandian due to a rib injury means that Juan Monaco will face US Open semi-finalist Tomas Berdych in Friday's second singles rubber.

On Saturday, Carlos Berlocq and Eduardo Schwank will face Berdych and Stepanek in the doubles, before the final two singles rubbers are staged on Sunday, with Del Potro against Berdych and Monaco against Stepanek.

Argentina have never won the Davis Cup, but have been runners-up three times in the last six years, including defeats by Spain in 2008 and 2011.

The Czech Republic lost the 2009 final to Spain.

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