Rio de Janeiro boss: Having Juan Martin del Potro at the tournament a dream come true

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Rio de Janeiro boss: Having Juan Martin del Potro at the tournament a dream come true

Rio de Janeiro tournament director Luiz Carvalho admits he has been dreaming of having former world No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro at the Rio Open. Del Potro, who hasn't played since the June of 2019, is set to return to action next week in Buenos Aires.

After Buenos Aires, del Potro is expected to play in Rio de Janeiro. "It was always a dream to have Del Potro play at the Rio Open and we worked a lot for that," Carvalho said, per We Love Tennis. "I hope the Brazilian public, who love him so much, will take the opportunity to see him in action in Rio."

Del Potro set for a Rio de Janeiro debut

Del Potro, 33, has no previous appearances on the clay courts of Rio de Janeiro. The Rio de Janeiro crowd will certainly give del Potro a warm welcome and show him a great support.

Del Potro underwent four knee surgeries after suffering a major knee injury at the Queen's Club in 2019. “I love the challenge,” Del Potro told ESPN of his injury struggles. “It could be a tennis challenge or a different challenge in life.

“This is the toughest match of my career, because I cannot deal with these kind of injuries, this pain that I have now. But I’m still trying and trying. “This is the life. I believe in myself that this is going to be in the past for sure.

“But I think it’s also a message to the young kids, to all the players, to all the people around the world that they never have to give up following a dream and that’s what I’m doing with myself."

The Rio de Janeiro player field is set to feature some of the biggest names of the game. Matteo Berrettini, Casper Ruud, Dominic Thiem, Diego Schwartzman and Carlos Alcaraz are also expected to play. It remains to be seen how far can go del Potro in his Rio de Janeiro debut.