A tearful Juan Martin Del Potro announced over the weekend that he’s considering an imminent retirement from the game of tennis, telling reporters in Buenos Aires that recurring injuries could mean two tournaments in Argentina and Brazil this month… could “possibly” be his last.
“I asked to start off this press conference myself to pass on a message to you all, a message which I have been thinking about and imagining for a long time. I think it is one of the hardest messages I’ve ever had to face up to and communicate because everyone knows and hopes that I will return to tennis. Possibly it won’t be like that and that it will be more of a farewell than a return. I’m putting in so much effort to be able to continue but the knee has been a nightmare. I’ve been trying alternatives and ways to resolve it for years and today I just can’t manage it. I never imagined retiring from tennis anywhere other than out there on the court. So I couldn’t think of a better tournament than Buenos Aires to be able to do it. And I think that after these weeks I will say what will happen with my future. But what I know is that now I have to choose to live as a 33-year-old, trying not to be in pain, and not as a professional sports person which I have felt like up until now and because of which I never gave up. It’s a difficult decision and I wanted to communicate it to you all.”
The 6-foot-6 Argentine last played a tournament match in June 2019. He injured his knee and has been struggling to regain full fitness ever since.
The former world number three has won 22 ATP titles since turning professional in 2005, including the 2009 U.S. Open, his only major win.
Del Potro is set to take the court at the Argentina Open on Tuesday. The Rio de Janeiro Open begins on Feb. 12.