Croatian tennis star Marin Cilic paid a tribute to Juan Martin del Potro as he described the Argentine as someone was an inspiration to professional player and kids around the world. Del Potro, 33, revealed on Saturday his plans to retire after playing Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.
Cilic, who is from the same generation as del Potro, clashed the Argentine 13 times over the course of his career. Cilic never had much success against del Potro as he won only two of their 13 matches. "It has been an honor to share this journey with @delpotrojuan.
We’ve been at this together since our days as juniors all the way to reaching Slam titles. You were an inspiration to us all on tour & to kids around the world," Cilic wrote on Twitter.
It has been an honor to share this journey with @delpotrojuan.
We’ve been at this together since our days as juniors all the way to reaching Slam titles. You were an inspiration to us all on tour & to kids around the world. pic.twitter.com/W8j4X5Yuk6 — Marin Cilic (@cilic_marin) February 10, 2022
Del Potro won't make a Rio de Janeiro debut
After suffering a 6-1 6-3 loss to Federico Delbonis in the Buenos Aires first round, del Potro hinted that was the last match of his career.
"Now I am calm because my last match was possibly on the court and not in a press conference. I will always remember this," del Potro said after the match. No player has had more bad luck with injuries than del Potro.
Still, it was extremely difficult for del Potro to make the decision to retire. "The truth is that this is a moment I never wanted to come. Health leads me to have to make a decision: I made too much effort in these two and a half years," del Potro admitted.
"Sometimes I can lose. I do not have the strength that everyone believes. I think I fulfilled all the dreams in tennis and the most difficult thing to achieve, which is the affection of the people. "I feel like I've given it all. This is a day I never wanted to come, but I'm going to remember it for the rest of my life."