Juan Martin del Potro came back to compete in this 2019 clay season, having played very little this year, due to the patella injury that forced him to stay out of the ATP Tour from October 2018 to the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com, this season.
His comeback, yet another for a player who has suffered serious injuries during his career, was positive. At Delray Beach, he reached the quarter-finals, where he lost to American Mackenzie McDonald. Then other physical problems and related recoveries forced the Argentinian to stay out until early May, when he made a return on clay at the Mutua Madrid Open, losing in the second round against Laslo Djere.
In Rome, his third seasonal tournament, he reached the quarter-finals, where he lost to the world no. 1 Novak Djokovic at the end of an epic match, which lasted three sets. Del Potro seemed to be in good athletic and psychic shape in the seven days in Roma.
He played good tennis, beating David Goffin, and rising youngsters like Casper Ruud. Considering that the playing surface is not ideal for del Potro, especially if the clay is heavy and slow, his performances in Rome can be seen as a reason for serenity for the physical stability of the Argentinian.
At the French Open, he will be one of the adversaries that nobody will want to meet on his way. Surely he can be a very demanding outsider for anyone. Obviously, his chances of arriving at least in the semi-finals are few; holding up matches played at the best-of-five sets can still be an ambitious goal for him, but it will also be an important physical test in order to see if his recovery is complete.
And a placement at least until the fourth round or up to the quarter-finals must not only be a utopia. His real season anyway will start on grass, and then continue first on the North American hard-courts and through the autumn on indoor hard-courts.
Moments of the season during which he will have chances to obtain important satisfactions. And rise again after the patella problems.