Juan Martin del Potro admits knee is giving him ‘headaches’, but Tokyo Olympics are keeping him motivated

Juan Martin del Potro in action

His knee continues to be troublesome, but Juan Martin del Potro insists his story is far from over as the Tokyo Olympics “are pulling me along”.

The former US Open champion hasn’t played competitive tennis since he fractured his kneecap at the Fever Tree Championships at Queen’s Club in 2019 and he has undergone three knee operations (June 2019, January 2020 and August 2020) since then.

Despite the many setbacks, Del Potro is hopeful that he will still play tennis during the 2021 season with the Tokyo Games, which runs from 23 July to 8 August, his main target.

“I think this is my year,” the 32-year-old said at a ceremony in Buenos Aires where he was honoured as the best Argentine player of the past decade.

“The Olympic Games are pulling me along, that is the motivation that I have.”

He added: “The knee is giving me a lot of headaches, I can’t close out my story yet. I feel like I have more to give and so I’ll keep trying.”

The former world No 3 admits it is often difficult to maintain belief that he will return to the ATP Tour, but is adamant he wants to end his career on his own terms.

“Sometimes I am animated (for a return) and other times it’s hard to envisage but I feel there is something inside me and so I keep fighting,” he said.

“I want to end my career when it is right for me and not because of my health.”

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