Juan Martin's del Potro's injury curse has struck again with the Argentine requiring more surgery after re-fracturing his kneecap during this week's Queen's Club Championships.
The former US Open champion slipped during his victory over Denis Shapovalov on Wednesday and later pulled out of the grasscourt tournament.
His hopes of playing at Wimbledon were dashed on Thursday after scans revealed he had fractured his right patella -- the same injury that forced him to miss the last four weeks of 2018 and restricted him to five tournaments this year.
The ATP's website said the 30-year-old World No.12 had consulted with his doctor Angel Cotorro and that surgery was required within the next couple of days.
Since winning the 2009 US Open, Del Potro has been robbed of large chunks of his career, undergoing three left wrist surgeries and another to his right wrist.
He had shown signs of returning to his best form and had risen to fourth in the rankings in January.
Tennis fans and journos were left shattered by the news, with the luckless Argentine already missing so much time in an injury-plagued career.
Oh no, so sad for him 😢— Mikikant (@mikikant_liber) June 19, 2019
Seriously the worst luck.— Dan (@DanielJeffery26) June 20, 2019
Del Potro injured his knee again :( https://t.co/Aq9NGeAgn8— José Morgado (@josemorgado) June 19, 2019
So sorry to hear this. Wishing you a speedy recovery! 🤞🙏👍 @delpotrojuan— Geraldine Livingston (@rafaandme) June 20, 2019
Too sad😥— ~Maria~ (@MariaRampini1) June 19, 2019
No words. Gutted.— DorsetGirl (@DorsetGirl1) June 19, 2019
@delpotrojuan all your fans hoping injury is not severe and you will be healthy for Wimbledon. Recover well. ❤️❤️🎾🎾💪— Judy Lesar (@greenbunny7) June 19, 2019
The 2009 US Open champion was playing in only his fifth tournament of the season after fracturing his right kneecap last October, which forced him to miss the Australian Open for the second time in three years.
Since his maiden grand slam triumph 10 years ago, he’s undergone multiple surgeries and spent two years on the sidelines from 2014-15.
Big guns advance
Feliciano Lopez received a walkover into the quarter-finals in the absence of Del Potro.
Lopez strongly denied "false accusations" made in reports of an alleged match-fixing scandal at Wimbledon two years ago after he beat Marton Fucsovics 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 6-4 in his opening match at Queen's - a day before he is due to play doubles with the returning Andy Murray.