Buenos Aires (AP) — It wasn’t a dream comeback, it was a possible comeback. And again, at least a tentative farewell.
“That’s the moment I never wanted to come,” said Juan Martin del Potro, weeping on Tuesday night. A few minutes later, he hung a rubber band he wore from the net on the central court of the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club, as a symbol of his legacy and perhaps his retirement.RELATED
The Del Potro meeting was emotionally appealing.
The 33-year-old Argentine returned to competition after two years and eight months of trials due to continued knee injuries, and as expected, against his compatriot and friend Federico Delbonis in situations 6-1 and 6. I fell without taking -3 into consideration. The first round of the Argentine Open, the ATP250 tournament, took place in clay.
“That wasn’t what I wanted. For my health I had to make a disappointing decision. I was at this point just like I was (injured). I think I’ve tried too hard to go back and accomplish another miracle. Wrist. I gave everything, but today it didn’t happen, I showed that I was human. Sometimes I don’t have the power to believe that everyone will move on, “said Del Potro on the” Giller Mobilus “court after his fall ended in 1:23 hours.
Del Potro has not announced his retirement, but suggests that he is likely to retire.
“I have to clarify the point. I’m going to improve my legs and then see how I continue,” he said in a press conference a few minutes later.
Del Potro said he would talk to his medical staff this Wednesday to decide whether to play in Rio de Janeiro next week. Then he will stop at least temporarily.
In any case, he did not rule out returning to the circuit in the end.
“I always keep the windows open,” he emphasized. “I would be happy if today was the last time.”
Del Potro is the world’s third-largest player, champion of the 2009 US Open and 2016 Davis Cup, and a silver medalist at the Rio Olympics that year. I was able to mark his retirement.
“I’m living a nightmare,” he admitted, referring to his constant pain and four surgeries performed on his right patella. “More than a comeback, it may be goodbye,” he predicted in the last 16 editions regarding his return to the Argentine Open after his absence.
The venue in Buenos Aires wore the best clothes. Over 5,000 spectators filled the stands and paid tribute to one of the three great tennis players, Delpo, presented by the South American country with the mythical Vilas and the extraordinary Gabriela Sabatini. .. ..
To be precise, “Gabby” is a box, like other celebrities in the sports world, such as Guillermo Coria, the captain of the Davis Cup team in Argentina, and Sebastian Battalia, the coach of the professional soccer league Boca Juniors. I was sitting inside.
In addition to dear friend and former soccer player Rolando Schiavi, the mother and sister of “La Torre de Tandir” attended.
And, like the best days, a crowd of noisy supporters said, “I’m honored to see you again,” with a T-shirt, “Thank you for your dedication,” and “The Tower of Tandil continues.” I wore the legendary flag and said a present. To fight. ”
Fans’ constant encouragement is that Delbonis, now 42nd in the world, hasn’t played since June 19, 2019, when Delbonis defeated Denis Shapovalov of Canada in the first round of the Queen’s tournament. I couldn’t prevent it from making a difference.
The slip shortly after the end caused a great deal of damage to the South Americans: he broke his right patella again, as it happened in October 2018. Subsequent surgery was not as successful as expected, and returning to tennis took longer than expected before this appointment in Argentina.
The applause that marked the entrance to Del Potro’s court, dressed in black like the legendary final that defeated Roger Federer at Flushing Meadows in 2009 on a refreshing summer night in Buenos Aires, is probably a precedent in tournament history. It was nothing.
Delbonis later admitted that it was difficult to settle into the game because of such an atmosphere and so many emotions on the surface (some spectators wanted to beat him and even whistled. did). Del Potro broke in his first game, but his left-handed rivals argued that he would beat him until he finished the first set 6-1 and open it on the other side.
It is worth noting that Del Potro struggled both physically and from the game. He could hardly apply the force of his right hand. Indeed, in the second set he fought to the highly controversial seventh game, eventually ending with a Delbonis break.
With a score of 5-3 and Saab in his possession, Del Potro broke down on the pitch. Soon, Delbonis ended the contest with solvency (he will play against Pablo Andujar of Spain in 16 rounds), but the general public said “” Delpo “has not left, it has not. , “Delpo” hasn’t left. “
“I’ve done my best to the end, but today I want to be able to sleep without pain in my legs two years later. It’s going to be very difficult from tomorrow, so I’m going to do that. I have. Play this sport with discomfort. I am in front of everything in my life and want to live in peace, “said Delpo, her mother nodding to the camera.
Subsequent statements of the hero of the night raised the question: was it the last farewell, or see you soon?