At the end of January, a former world no. 3 and the US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro had to undergo another right knee surgery in Miami, postponing his return before a coronavirus halted the entire tennis season. The Argentine fractured his right kneecap against Borna Coric in Shanghai 2018, returning in Delray Beach next February and playing only five tournaments and 12 matches before experiencing the same injury while beating Denis Shapovalov at Queen's.
Juan Martin underwent surgery in Barcelona a couple of days later, hoping to start training again as soon as possible and beginning with some light preparations on and off the court at the end of summer. Still, things haven't worked his way so far, feeling a constant pain in his knee and having to skip the Australian Open for the fifth time in the last six years before that latest surgery.
Del Potro was live on Instagram on Sunday night, talking about all the setbacks in recent years and his desire to make another comeback despite all the bad luck and problems. After dropping out from the top-1000 in February 2016, the Argentine embraced a stellar journey towards the top, combining a couple of healthy years and lifting the first Masters 1000 trophy in Indian Wells 2018, becoming world no.
3 in August before experiencing two identical knee injuries that have halted his progress once again. "As everyone knows, I have been dealing with injuries throughout my career. The latest one came when I recently was in the top-5, feeling great on the court and trying to catch Rafael Nadal.
I really want to keep playing but in reality, it is tough for me to carry on. The doctors have always encouraged me that I will be able to compete on a high level again in the future but it becomes very hard when you don't see obvious progress after many days that have passed.
I have had many ups and downs in my career and the current situation is very complicated. When I had that wrist injury, it was a real struggle; I couldn't hit a backhand with both hands. Everything looked much better after the Rio Olympics until that latest knee injury."