Tennis 2022: The world reacts to Juan Martin del Potro’s sad press conference, tears, retirement, farewell, US Open champion

Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro is set to return from injury, but it looks like it will be for a farewell rather than a comeback.

Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro broke down at a press conference where he broke the hearts of the tennis world by hinting he was heading for retirement.

Just last week, the 33-year-old Argentine appeared to be heading for a long-awaited return to the pitch, sharing a photo via Instagram of him serving on the clay courts of Buenos Aires.

In Spanish, he wrote: “How nice to see them again!!”

Watch Tennis Live with beIN SPORTS on Kayo. Live coverage of ATP + WTA Tour tournaments, including every match in the finals. New to Kayo? Start your free trial >

It raised a lot of hope that the star was about to make one last comeback.

He is currently world No. 757, having been world No. 3 in 2018 as he has not played since fracturing his kneecap in June 2019 at Queen’s in London.

Since that injury, he has had four knee surgeries.

He also broke his knee at the Shanghai Masters in October 2018 and had wrist injuries which had hampered his progress as a player.

But while he raised his fans’ hopes with his Instagram post, they came down to earth in an emotional press conference when he revealed his comeback was ‘more of a farewell than a comeback’. tennis.

Del Potro, who won the 2009 US Open as the first player not named Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic to win a Grand Slam since the 2005 Australian Open.

He denied Federer his 16th title at the time.

The next non-Big Three player to win was Andy Murray at the 2012 US Open.

But Del Potro seems to have only two events left as he will play the Argentine Open in Buenos Aires and Brazil.

Del Potro said his knee saw him “live a nightmare”.

“It’s more a farewell than a return. I tried different treatments and saw doctors for many years, and I never imagined retiring from tennis without playing,” he told a press conference.

“I haven’t found a better tournament than Buenos Aires to be able to do that. After this week, I will think about the future.

At the tearful press conference, del Potro said he didn’t expect a miracle, even though he held the door open.

“I have always overcome everything. I don’t want to close the door. I’m very excited because I love tennis,” del Potro said. “Today I have to be honest so as not to give the wrong message, even if in two and a half years I gave messages that were not in line with my reality.

“If I’m honest, I have to say that I’m not here for a miraculous comeback like on other occasions. I know my physical limits, and we’ll see later.

He later added: “With this injury, I always said I wouldn’t give up. The farewell was to be done on a court and not in a conference.

Social networks were quick to react to the sad news.

If this week sees the end of Del Potro on tour, he will leave with his peers hailing his game and his character.

“He treats others the way he wants others to treat him,” Djokovic said of the respect Del Potro commands in the locker room after beating him in the 2018 US Open final.

“I think that’s why people love him.

“He respects everyone. He fights every match from the first point to the last. I think people can relate to that and appreciate what he brings to tennis.

However, the great Argentinian has never overcome his physical demons. Unable to defend his US Open title in 2010, Del Potro hit a low point in 2015, playing only four ATP matches.

He said it was almost the time he retired.

His prolonged absence from the game may have prevented Del Potro from forging his way into the space monopolized by Nadal, now a 21-time Major winner, and 20-time Slam champions Federer and Djokovic.

But his 10 career victories over number one ranked players are the most of any player to never hold the number one ranking – and further proof, Djokovic said, that Del Potro belonged in the elite.

Del Potro won the last of his 22 tour titles at the Indian Wells Masters in 2018.

He won silver and bronze at the Olympics and helped his country win the Davis Cup in 2016.

Del Potro last played the Argentina Open aged 17 in 2006, losing in the first round to former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Comments are closed.