Could Juan Martin del Potro be set for a sensational US Open return?

Shahida Jacobs
Juan Martin del Potro arrive on court

Juan Martin del Potro has not played competitive tennis in over a year, but he could be set for a remarkable comeback at this year’s US Open.

The Argentine great last set foot on a court at the Argentina Open in February 2022 as he attempted a comeback after nearly three full years on the sidelines after undergoing four operations to repair his injured right-knee cap.

After losing in the first round in Buenos Aires, Del Potro conceded that the match was “maybe more of a farewell than a comeback” and many took that as a sign that he is hanging up his racket for good with tributes pouring in left, right and centre.

However, Del Potro recently revealed that he has not completely closed the door on his tennis career and stated that “I will start training, see how my leg and knee react and if I can do it or not”, adding that he will give himself until the US Open in August to see if he can return to competitive tennis.

And while some may see it as a pipe dream, Del Potro is determined to make it a reality as he confirmed in a new interview that he is aiming to play at Flushing Meadows later this year.

“My goal is to be ready to play an official match in the tournament. I don’t know if I will be 100% or not but, at least, if my last tennis match ever has to be this year, I want [it to be] at the US Open,” he told The Associated Press.

He continued: “I will work hard for the last time, maybe, in my career, and then you never know. God will decide if I’m ready or not.”

Del Potro, often described as the gentle giant of tennis, has always been a firm favourite with fans, especially those in the United States following his US Open win in 2009, and it was no surprise that US Open Tournament Director Stacey Allaster and organisers are open to the idea of him playing in New York this year.

“Juan Martin is a true favorite of US Open fans. He is a tremendous, yet gracious, competitor and we would be thrilled for this former US Open champion to join us at this year’s tournament,” she said.

With Del Potro no longer in the ATP Rankings, he will need a wildcard to enter the hard-court Grand Slam, but given Allaster’s response, he will likely be the first name on the list.

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