Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro has had a horror run with injuries through his career. And even though he is struggling to come back from the latest knee surgery del Potro is not ready to give up yet.
The Argentine underwent surgery on his right knee in Bern, Switzerland at the end of August.
This was the third procedure in two years: he fractured his right kneecap at the Shanghai Masters in October 2018. After making a comeback, he slipped during a match at the Queen’s Club grass-court event in June 2019 and needed another operation.
He has earlier undergone multiple wrist surgeries as well.
“To be honest, it takes a lot for me to make a comeback,” said the 32-year-old in a recent interview.
“It has become very challenging for me, but I’m not ready to give up. I refuse to finish my career outside the court and would love to compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo next summer.”
Six foot six inches tall and blessed with a monster forehand, del Potro has picked up the moniker of ‘gentle giant’ for his mild personality.
Though he has enjoyed a lot of success on Tour, he is in his element when playing for his country. He has won two Olympic medals in singles already: bronze at the 2012 London Games and silver in 2016 in Rio De Janeiro.
In Rio, del Potro toppled the then World No 1 Novak Djokovic in the opening round and then got the better of Rafael Nadal to enter the final.
Later that year, del Potro led the Argentines to their first-ever Davis Cup triumph. In the final, del Potro kept Argentina’s hopes afloat by defeating Croatia’s No 1 player Marin Cilic. Del Potro, playing in front of a Zagreb crowd that backed Cilic to the hilt, fought back from two sets down for the first time in his career to win the fourth rubber and help Argentine level 2-2.
One of Argentina’s most vocal supporters during that tie was recently deceased football star Diego Maradona.
“Four years ago, in the Davis Cup final, we lived very closely with Maradona,” Delpo recalled.
“We had to be calm and with Diego, it was sometimes difficult. He transmitted energy and a strength that could not be received from another person.”