Juan Martin del Potro - Novak Djokovic backing

Juan Martin del Potro: “I broke my knees and here I am with nothing”

Juan Martin del Potro: “I broke my knees and here I am with nothing”

Juan Martin del Potro says he feels left “with nothing” after his tennis career was snatched away from him.

Del Potro was at the peak of his career when he broke his kneecap at Queen’s in 2019.

He initially worked his way back only to suffer the same injury again and except for a farewell gig in Buenos Aires earlier this year when he symbolically hung his headband over the net, he has never played since.

While it wasn’t the first injury bout of Del Potro’s career, it was certainly the most painful, and he’s been open about how hard he’s found it.

“I recently went to Switzerland to see another doctor,” Juan Martin del Potro told media in Argentina. “I started another treatment, it was recommended by many tennis players and so far I haven’t even had a positive result.

“Imagine after every attempt at treatment or surgery, how frustrated I get when it doesn’t work. As usual I’m wrong, I hope I have faith in any new treatment I try and when it fails the blow is hard.

“And for three and a half years, despite multiple surgeries and treatments, it always happened. Today I can only walk, I don’t run on the treadmill, I can’t climb the stairs without pain. I can’t drive long without stopping to stretch my legs.

“This is my reality, which is hard and sad, but I always try to improve my situation and my new challenge is to live my best life, even psychologically, despite my problem.

Central to Del Potro’s mental struggles with his situation seems to be how suddenly it came upon him. Although he has struggled with injuries throughout his career, it has mostly been wrist issues so the nature of the knee injury that affected him came as a shock.

“Psychologically, I cannot accept life without tennis,” he said. “I didn’t have a gradual transition to the after, I didn’t prepare, I have no idea what the other athletes did to live this process peacefully.

“I was world number three, then all of a sudden I broke my knees and here I am, with nothing.

“And all the time I was trying to recover like I did with any other injury until I said in Buenos Aires, ‘That’s enough’. And from Buenos Aires I found myself and I’m still there, in this process of reflection, I’m wondering what I might like, I don’t know.

“When I talk to other athletes who are no longer active, they say to me, ‘Well, it’s taken me the last two years of my career, the last year, I’ve prepared one way or the other. I’ll do it now.”

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