Del Potro, the giant who led Argentina to glory in tennis

Argentine tennis player Juan Martín Del Potro, 33, announced this Saturday that the next ones will be the last games of his outstanding career in the major circuit, where he obtained great achievements that took his country to the top, in a career marked by injuries.

Next to participate from Tuesday in the ATP of Buenos Aires and in Rio de Janeiro on February 14, the Argentine considered that his return “is more a farewell than a return” to tennis, alluding to an imminent retirement to which he did not set a date

Del Potro became number 3 in the world ranking in August 2018, and in his record he has 22 titles, including the US Open-2009, his only Grand Slam trophy, which he won in the midst of an era dominated by the ‘Big 3’ that made up Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Known as ‘the Tower of Tandil’, Del Potro defeated Federer in five sets in an unforgettable final on New York cement, when he was barely 20 years old and projected an immense future, after a brilliant appearance in 2008, when he won four tournaments in a row (Stuttgart, Kitzbuhel, Los Angeles and Washington).

Del Potro’s list of great achievements also includes the conquest of the 2016 Davis Cup, the first in history for Argentina, which in Zagreb and against Croatia (3-2) put an end to decades of Albiceleste frustrations.

There, and with an enormous task, Del Potro was the winner of a vital point against Marin Cilic to level the final 2-2 and leave the shot to Federico Delbonis.

Del Potro was also one of the few Argentine athletes to win two medals at the Olympic Games, obtaining bronze in London-2012, with victory over Djokovic in the duel for third place, and the silver medal in Rio-2016. , when he beat Djokovic and Nadal en route, before falling in a very close final against Andy Murray.

– Steel Right –

His game, based on a powerful forehand and tennis capable of sustaining high intensity against the best on tour, was complemented by his friendliness, which allowed him to win the affection of the public around the world and be known as the ‘gentle giant’ .

However, del Potro’s career was severely affected by injuries, first with a soreness in his right wrist, then another in his left wrist for which he had three operations, and which forced him to change his backhand.

And the most serious was a fracture of the right patella, an unusual injury in a tennis player, which was caused by a fall in a match for the Masters 1000 in Shanghai-2018.

Although ‘Delpo’ returned to play months later, the improvement was never complete and was aggravated by another slip during the Queen’s tournament in London in June 2019, which forced him to stop and start various treatments and cures, which led to in four operations on the right knee.

He had his last great success at the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells-2018, and shortly after he reached the final of the US Open, which he lost against Djokovic, before the injury and a long hiatus of almost 32 months, until he made the decision. to play the tournaments in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro.

But the illusion of seeing him among the best again turned into the certainty that Del Potro was writing the last pages of his career as a player, loved by the public, respected by his colleagues and rivals and recognized as one of the best Argentine athletes. of the last times.

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