Del Potro will not play Rio, looks to have played his last match

The Argentinian is set to retire after four knee surgeries in the last two years

Argentina Open Juan Martin Del Potro dries his face during an Argentina Open tennis match against Federico Delbonis at Guillermo Vilas Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Gustavo Garello)/XJS107/22040004085276//2202090111

As he hinted after his emotional return in Argentina last week, there will be no Rio Open for Juan Martin del Potro and the great Argentinian seems almost certain to have played his last ever professional match.

The 33-year-old, who won the US Open in 2009, reached a career-high ranking of No 3 and won the Davis Cup and two Olympic medals for his country in a glorious career, returned to the court after nearly two years off with knee trouble at this week’s Argentina Open.

Beaten by Federico Delbonis in Buenos Aires, Del Potro, who’s had four knee operations in the past two years, announced that it was likely his last match but organisers of the Rio Open, where he had also entered, still held out hope he might make it there for one last hurrah. On Friday, they admitted defeat.

Del Potro said in Buenos Aires that he just wanted to be a 33-year-old without pain and to sleep without being woken up by discomfort in his knees.

Having recovered from four wrist surgeries in his career, Del Potro suffered the knee injury on grass in the ATP event at London’s Queen’s Club in 2019 and despite all his best efforts, has not been able to get back to full fitness.

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