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Friday, May 20, 2022
Home Sports Del Potro says goodbye to tennis at ATP 250 in Buenos Aires

Del Potro says goodbye to tennis at ATP 250 in Buenos Aires


Juan Martin Del Potro isn’t exactly retiring on his own terms. It’s not the way he – or anyone else in the tennis world – wants it.

But he at least managed to say goodbye while playing a match, which the Argentine did in front of the home crowd in Buenos Aires on Tuesday night. Del Potro bowed out of the Argentina Open – and likely from tennis in general – with a 6-1, 6-3 first-round loss to compatriot Federico Delbonis.

On the match court for the first time since the summer of 2019 at Queen’s Club, where his latest knee problems began, Del Potro was unable to find his game in the opening set on Tuesday. The 2009 US Open champion managed to give his legion of fans something to cheer about with a relatively competitive second set, but he was unable to prolong the contest past the one-hour and 23-minute mark.

Starting at 3-3, Delbonis broke serve twice in a row – including in a final game that was delayed by an emotional moment in which Del Potro was in tears prior to serving at 3-5 as the crowd chanted his name.

“It’s difficult to explain how I felt on the court; so many emotions, ”the 33-year-old said afterward. “The atmosphere was crazy, the people were crazy, and I had one of my best ever matches in my career with the crowd…. “If today was the last time, I will leave happy.”

Del Potro announced last week that either Buenos Aires or next week’s ATP 500 in Rio de Janeiro would be the final event of his career. He said following Tuesday’s match that he has nothing more left to give and the pain in his knee is too much for another appearance in Rio.

So this is it… for now. But if his physical problems end up being solved in the future, the door to another return is somewhat open.

“I do not know if it’s going to happen, because the pain in my knee is very high,” he concluded. “But I will keep doing a big effort to fix the knee, and if I get that, maybe I will have another chance to play.”

If Del Potro officially retires without playing another match, he will end his career with a Grand Slam title, as Masters 1000 title (Indian Wells 2018), two Olympic singles medals (bronze in 2012, silver in 2016), and a Davis Cup trophy (2016).



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