Juan Martin del Potro news: The long wait is about to end as Argentine confirms his return

Juan Martin del Potro in action

It is the news that the tennis community has been waiting to hear as Juan Martin del Potro has announced he is set to finally make his return to competitive tennis.

The Argentine has accepted a wildcard to play in next week’s Buenos Aires Open while he has also signed up for the Rio Open, which gets underway on February 14.

Both are clay-court events and the Buenos Aires tournament will mark the 33-year-old’s first competitive event since 2019.

“It will be very special to come back to the tour in Buenos Aires and play in Rio, too,” del Potro said in a statement shared by Rio Open organisers. “I have worked a lot and made all the effort to be with you in the next few weeks.”

He added: “Rio de Janeiro has a special place in my heart and I look forward to being with you and to play in the Rio Open for the first time.”

Del Potro fractured his knee cap at Queen’s Club in June 2019 and underwent operations in June 2019, January 2020, August 2020 and March 2021. He initially had high hopes of returning ahead of the last year’s Beijing Olympics, but came up short.

In an interview with ESPN at the 2021 US Open he admitted that spending so much time away from the sport has been difficult.

“I love the challenge. It could be a tennis challenge or a different challenge in life. This is the toughest match of my career, because I cannot deal with these kind of injuries, this pain that I have now. But I’m still trying and trying,” he said.

“This is the life. I believe in myself that this is going to be in the past for sure. But I think it’s also a message to the young kids, to all the players, to all the people around the world that they never have to give up following a dream and that’s what I’m doing with myself.”