Juan Martin del Potro jokes Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic stopped him from realising one dream
Juan Martin del Potro realised one of his tennis goals when he won the US Open in 2009, but there is another dream that he didn’t quite manage to achieve due to Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
The Argentine was one of the best tennis players in the world during his peak and notched up several wins over the Big Three of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic – including at the 2009 US Open when he beat Nadal in the semi-final and Federer in the final.
He also won the ATP Finals, silver medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, reached a career-high No 3 in the ATP Rankings in 2018 but injuries ultimately prevented him from achieving more success as he spent long spells on the sidelines due to several wrist and knee injuries that often required career-saving operations.
But while injuries curtailed his career, Messrs Federer, Nadal and Djokovic also stood in his way of achieving more as one or more members of the Big Three were always ahead of him in the rankings and they also often stood in his way of winning more Grand Slams.
In an interview with Tenis News Brasil, he discussed what was missing from his career and said: “The only thing I lacked was being No 1. It was always a dream and I always worked for it.
“If I had to answer that question today, I would say that’s it, but I was proud of my career and I never made it because there was either Federer, or Nadal or Djokovic.
“When I look at the rankings and the years of my career and who was fighting to be No 1 I see that it was beautiful to see that these were the ones who didn’t let me achieve this dream.”
He also spoke about the future of tennis and feels the likes of Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner and Holger Rune will shine in years to become, but they won’t replace the Big Three.
“One day the Big Three will end and we have Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner or Holger Rune, other young people who will dominate the Tour, but for me many years – the Big Three – there won’t be anything similar,” the Argentine said.
After sustaining a knee injury at Queen’s Club in June 2019, Del Potro spent nearly three full years on the sidelines and he finally returned at the 2022 Argentina Open but he admitted that his appearance was “maybe more of a farewell than a comeback”.
“If I’m honest I have to say that I’m not here for a miraculous comeback like on other occasions,” the Argentine said. “I know the limitations I have physically, and we’ll see later.”
He added: “With this injury I always said I wouldn’t give up. The farewell had to be on a court and not in a conference.”
Novak Djokovic and Coco Gauff’s US Open prize money sparks fresh equal pay debate
Novak Djokovic was paid $2,730 per minute for his record-breaking 24th Grand Slam title at the US Open earlier this month.
Maria Sakkari reveals how tearful US Open exit became an inspiration
Maria Sakkari says that the love and support she received from fans and even colleagues after her US Open exit helped inspire her.
WATCH: Intense Felix Auger-Aliassime brushes off Laver Cup spat with Gael Monfils
Felix Auger-Aliassime and Gael Monfils shared some heated moments after the Canadian complained to the umpire during their Laver Cup clash.
More questions for Andy Murray to answer after another agonising defeat
Andy Murray blew an early lead as he crashed to defeat against Aslan Karatsev in the last 16.
Roger Federer reveals what he misses about tennis as Rafael Nadal surprises him
Speaking in an interview with former world No 1 Jim Courier at the Laver Cup, the 20-time Grand Slam champion reflected on how his life chan
Top coach spotted Coco Gauff’s potential very early on
Patrick Mouratoglou has revealed that Coco Gauff left a big impression on him during their first meeting.
British star set for rankings breakthrough after a decade on the ATP Tour
Liam Broady set to break into the top 100 of the ATP rankings for the first time.
Guadalajara proves a balm for Maria Sakkari’s suffering once again
Maria Sakkari feels that the bond between herself and Guadalajara has grown closer after another deep run in the Mexican city.
Novak Djokovic hits raw nerve with tennis chiefs after latest controversial comments
Djokovic has made some radical proposals that would ensure the huge amounts of cash being generated by gambling goes to tennis players.