Juan Martin del Potro says he cannot accept life without tennis

Roger Federer became a puddle of tears in an emotional farewell to tennis last week. Now one more The former star has made a startling, heartbreaking admission.

Juan Martin del Potro, who retired earlier this year after becoming unable to endure the pain of a knee injury that derailed his once burgeoning career, says he felt he was left “with nothing”. .

“Psychologically, I cannot accept life without tennis,” said the 34-year-old Argentine in a recent interview with the media from his home country. “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 No. 3, then all of a sudden I broke my knees and here I am, with nothing.”

Juan Martin del Potro cries during a tennis match at the Argentina Open against Federico Delbonis in February.
Juan Martin del Potro cries during a tennis match at the Argentina Open against Federico Delbonis in February.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Gett

Del Potro hit a career-high No. 3 in 2018, nearly a decade after becoming the first man to beat Rafael Nadal and Federer in the same tournament at the 2009 US Open. He captured the title with an epic five-set win over Federer at a time when the Swiss star was at the peak of his game.

But a series of wrist and knee injuries sent his career into a spiral. Just months after winning his only Grand Slam title, del Potro underwent wrist surgery and was unable to defend himself at Flushing Meadows.

He then underwent another wrist surgery in 2014, which essentially sidelined him for two years. Four years later, he suffered the first of two fractured kneecaps within eight months and eventually underwent four separate surgeries. There were other injuries along the way.

Juan Martin del Potro makes a comeback against John Isner at the 2018 US Open.
Juan Martin del Potro makes a comeback against John Isner at the 2018 US Open.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

The 6-foot-6 bomber, affectionately dubbed the Tower of Tandil, made his return at this year’s Argentina Open in February, losing to Federico Delbonis 6-1, 6-3 before bowing out with a tearful wave.

However, the number of his injuries has only just become known. Del Potro said he could not run, climb stairs without pain, and drive long distances without having to stop to stretch his legs.

“I recently went to Switzerland to see another doctor,” del Potro recently told reporters 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.

Juan Martin del Potro kisses the trophy after beating Roger Federer and winning the 2009 US Open.
Juan Martin del Potro kisses the trophy after beating Roger Federer and winning the 2009 US Open.
©2009 Photostation Images

“This is my reality, which is hard, which is sad, but I always try to improve my situation and my new challenge is also to live in the best possible way psychologically, despite my problem.”

The Argentine marked the first of a handful of notable retirements from tennis this year with former world No. 1 Ash Barty call it a career in MarchJo-Wilfried Tsonga there after the French Open in May, Serena Williams says goodbye to the US Open and Federer bids farewell in a doubles match with longtime rival Nadal at the Laver Cup.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *