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Del Potro loses in tears in Buenos Aires

Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro clearly lost the first match of his farewell tour and is about to retire.

The 33-year-old Argentinian, who hadn’t played professional tennis for almost three years after breaking his kneecap, lost to his compatriot Federico Delbonis 1: 6, 3: 6 at the clay court tournament in Buenos Aires. Before his last service game, the “Tower of Tandil” cried.

Before his comeback, he left it open whether Del Potro would compete in the ATP tournament in Rio de Janeiro next week. “After this week I will think about the future,” he said.

He had no great illusions about the continuation of his career. “It’s more of a farewell than a comeback. I’ve tried different treatments and seen doctors for many years and I could never have imagined retiring from tennis without playing,” said Del Potro, who played at the 2009 Grand Slam tournament in New York.

The former world number three also won Olympic bronze in singles in London 2012 and silver in Rio 2016. He won the Davis Cup with Argentina in 2016, but kept struggling with injuries, knees and wrists in particular caused problems.

In June 2019, Del Potro suffered a fractured kneecap and hasn’t played since.

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