Marcelo Gomez: 'Juan Martin del Potro would have challenged Rafael Nadal, Djokovic..'

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Marcelo Gomez: 'Juan Martin del Potro would have challenged Rafael Nadal, Djokovic..'

The small Argentine town of Tandil was destined to produce some of the greatest tennis stars of the South American country. In the early 90s, Marcelo Gomez made the first tennis steps with his pupil Juan Martin del Potro, knowing straight away he was a top-10 material.

Del Potro's first coach believes Juan Martin would have become world no. 1 at some point if he wasn't injury-prone, saying he would be Novak Djokovic's and Rafael Nadal's rival for the ATP throne in these years.

Former world no. 3 and the US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro had to undergo the third right knee surgery in August following that nasty injury in Shanghai 2018! Roger Federer's doctor Ronald Biedert underwent the procedure in Bern in Switzerland, staying in touch with Juan Martin since January and recommending another surgery as the pain wouldn't go away.

The previous surgery came at the end of January in Miami, and it wasn't enough to see the Argentine back on the court, feeling the pain during the practice runs in Buenos Aires. Juan Martin had fractured his right kneecap against Borna Coric in Shanghai 2018, returning in Delray Beach last season and playing only five tournaments and 12 matches before experiencing the same injury against Denis Shapovalov at Queen's!

Del Potro underwent surgery in Barcelona a couple of days later, hoping to start training as soon as possible. Returning a couple of months later, del Potro began with some light preparations, but things haven't worked his way, feeling a constant pain in his knee and having to skip the Australian Open for the fifth time in the last six seasons!

Juan Martin del Potro hasn't played since Queen's 2019 due to injuries.

Del Potro never had the opportunity to show his full potential in the long run, experiencing numerous injuries in the previous ten years!

Giving his best to extend career and return where he belongs, the Argentine had managed to make a comeback at his best in 2017 and 2018, entering the top-3 for the first time before facing more setbacks, playing only 12 matches in the season behind us to drop out from the top-100.

"When Juan Martin was ten, I knew he had the potential to be a top-10 player. To join the elite group, every element of your game has to be on a high level, and Juan Martin had that in line. If there were no injuries, he would have been fighting for the ATP throne with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

That was his second goal after winning a Major, which he achieved at the US Open 2009. I still see him as a boy who enjoys playing tennis; I hope he can make another push and start all over. I'm 100% sure he will not return if he feels he can't compete against the rivals from the top.

His previous returns were unmatched; they were remarkable, and other players were coming to me to ask how he did that," Marcelo Gomez said.