Juan Martin del Potro leaves door open for shock return to tennis at US Open
After retiring in 2022 due to injuries, Juan Martin del Potro has dropped a massive hint ahead of the US Open.
Juan Martin del Potro has hinted that he will 'start training' in a bid to return to the court for the US Open later this year, prompting a frenzy among tennis fans. The popular winner of the Flushing Meadows grand slam in 2009 retired in front of his home fans in Argentina last year, amid ongoing knee issues.
De Potro's emotional farewell at the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires last year was one of the most memorable moments of the 2022 season, with the 34-year-old still one of the sport's most popular figures. His retirement was driven in part due to consistent pain in his knee which was preventing him from even training, let alone competing at the level required.
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However he hinted in a recent interview with South American media that he is eyeing off a potential return to the US Open later this year. Despite being forced into retirement, De Potro's desire to compete hasn't been dulled, and there's an invitation on the table from the US Open if he wants to launch a comeback.
"I love tennis, it will never be a problem to pick up a racquet and see how I feel," Del Potro said per We Love Tennis. "The physical problem and my knee are things I work on every day.
"I’m going to leave that window open, at least until the US Open, as I said. This is the most special tournament for me. I still have time. I will start training, see how my leg and knee react, and if I can do it or not."
Del Potro admitted in the months after his retirement in February that he had found it difficult to truly farewell the game. The former World No.3 had undergone four surgeries on his knee while slipping to 757 in the world rankings before retiring.
In a heartbreaking admission, del Potro claimed he found it hard to come to grips with his sudden exit from tennis and his previous life due to his injuries. “I can’t psychologically accept a life without tennis,” he said. “I was number three in the world, then suddenly I broke my knees and here I am, with nothing."
Bless his heart. I would love to see him get another shot. I know it’s been so hard on him to have to retire so young. He sure is missed by the fans!
— andrea van slyke (@asvanslyke) March 27, 2023
Wow, One of my favorite players of the last 20 years. I wish him luck, but he must set realistic goals, not low goals, but realistic ones.
— Dthor (@DDT_Thor) March 27, 2023
Hell yeah!! Good for him
— johnny b good (@goodtimesatngt) March 27, 2023
Come back @delpotrojuan, you are a great player on court, we miss you!!!
— Wiliam da Cruz Leal (@WiliamCruz0310) March 27, 2023
That’d would be cool after that emotional final game
— EK🃏🏀🌊 (@Warridjokosea) March 27, 2023
Repeated surgeries took toll on Juan Martin del Potro
He also discussed how the constant disappointment of failed surgeries had taken a massive mental toll, in addition to physically inhibiting him. As recently as September last year, the 34-year-old still couldn't run.
“Imagine what it’s like after every treatment attempt or surgery, the frustration I can feel when things don’t work out," he said. "As usual I delude myself, I hope, I have faith in every new treatment I try and, when this fails, the blow is hard.
“And for three and a half years, despite several surgeries and treatments, it always happened. Today I can only walk, I do not run on the treadmill, I cannot climb the stairs without pain. I can’t drive for a long time without stopping to stretch my legs.
“This is my reality, which is hard, it is sad, but I always try to improve my situation and my new challenge is also to live in the best possible way, even psychologically, despite my problem.”
Del Potro played his final game in his home country, which played out in hard to watch scenes. The crowd got behind their hero as chants of 'Del Potro' echoed around the arena during the match against countryman Federico Delbonis.
And in heartbreaking scenes, Del Potro broke down in tears before what appears to be the final service game of his career. Del Potro won the last of his 22 tour titles at the Indian Wells Masters in 2018, as well as winning silver and bronze at the Olympics and helping his country win the Davis Cup in 2016.
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