In one of the most emotional matches in recent tennis history, former US Open champion, Juan Martin Del Potro played potentially the last match of his illustrious career. The Argentine was struggling with his knee for the last 3 years and in the end, decided that he’ll have to ‘live with the pain’ and hence decided to play a farewell match on home soil.
The Argentine lost the opening round match at the Argentina Open to fellow Argentine, Federico Delbonis in straight sets 1-6,3-6. Del Potro was visibly very emotional during the match and broke down during the last game.
Del Potro, who had one of the biggest forehands in tennis history, is currently scheduled to play the Rio Open next week but has said that he will take the decision after talking to his team as the knee pain is too much to bear. He even hung his headband over the net after the match, indicating that he probably has played the last match of his career.
‘If today was my last match, I’m leaving happy’: Del Potro
After the match, Del Potro couldn’t hold back his tears given that he may never step on a tennis court again. He said that the toughest thing in sports is to achieve people’s love and support, which he has done. He added that even if it’s his last match today, he will be leaving happy and wants to live the rest of his life pain-free.
“The toughest thing to achieve is not a trophy or a ranking position, but people’s love and support. I think I achieved it. Today is a full stop. Now I just want to live in peace and be able to sleep without feeling pain in my leg. If today was my last match, I’m leaving happy,” the Argentine said.
He also said that he is happy that he played a farewell match and didn’t bid farewell in a press conference. “I am calm because I played the last match on a tennis court and not in a press conference,” he said.
“This is the last game of my life, I’m happy to have played it in front of this audience. I gave everything up to the last point, but it is very difficult to play with these pains. I want to live in peace, I have a whole life ahead of me.”