Juan Martín del Potro played on February 9th in Buenos Aires what could be his last match on the ATP circuit. The Argentine has had to deal with a series of serious injuries that have marked his career. After winning the 2009 US Open, beating Roger Federer in the final, and having a great season, the giant from Tandil suffered his first problems with his right wrist in 2010 and was forced to undergo his first operation.
Del Potro returned to the court and won two tournaments in 2011 (Delray Beach, Estoril) before injuring his left wrist again. The diagnosis was an injury to the triangular fibrocartilage of the left wrist. In the turn of 2013 and 2014, del Potro was able to perform consistently, reaching the Wimbledon semifinals and winning major titles in Rotterdam, Washington, Tokyo and Basel.
A few months before the end of the season, the pain in his wrist increased and del Potro had to undergo a lengthy rehabilitation process. From late 2014 to mid-2015, three operations on his left wrist forced the Argentine to take another long break.
With the wrist injury resolved, just a few months after one of his most rewarding and important successes (the Indian Wells Masters 1000), bad luck struck again. During the match against Borna Coric in Shanghai, he fell and broke his kneecap.
A kneecap that will never stop chasing Del Potro. Four operations on his right knee were not enough to convince the man from Tandil that everything would go back to the way it was before. "It was very difficult for me to make the decision to play this tournament (Buenos Aires, ed.), but I forced myself.
I had to do what I felt."
Delpo is suffering
Former Top 10 player Juan Martin del Potro has revealed heartbreaking details of his injury struggles. “I can’t psychologically accept a life without tennis,” he said.
“I was No. 3 in the world, until suddenly, I broke my knees and here I am, with nothing. I did not have a gradual transition to the after, I did not prepare, I have no idea what the other athletes did to live this process peacefully.
And all this time I was trying to recover, as I have with any other injury, until in Buenos Aires I said: ‘That’s enough’. And from Buenos Aires I found myself, and I am still there, in that process of reflection, I wonder what things I might like, I don’t know.
When I talk to other athletes who are no longer active, they say to me, ‘Well, it took me the last two years of my career, the last year, I prepared myself this way or that way. I’m doing it now”.