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Juan Martin del Potro: Buenos Aires Open return may be 'more of a farewell than a comeback'

Juan Martin del Potro won the US Open in 2009 and was ranked as high as No. 3 in the world four years ago, but has undergone four knee surgeries since June 2019 and says he could bring his career to a close soon after this week's Buenos Aires Open

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Juan Martin del Potro says that his latest comeback could be more of a farewell due to the former US Open Champion describing his knee injuries 'a living nightmare.'

Juan Martin del Potro has admitted he could soon be announcing his retirement from professional tennis as he continues to struggle with knee problems.

The 2009 US Open champion has not played on the circuit since 2019 and has endured an injury-hit career, although is due to play in the Buenos Aires Open this week followed by the Rio Open.

However, speaking ahead of his match against compatriot Federico Delbonis on Monday, Del Potro conceded he is likely to be in the closing stages of a 17-year professional career

"It might not be like that and maybe it's more of a farewell than a comeback," Del Potro said in an emotional press conference.

"Lately I have been doing too much effort to continue playing, but I've been living a nightmare with my knee.

"For many years, I have been trying alternative treatments and doctors and different ways to fix it, but I have not been able to do it.

"But I never imagined retiring from tennis without having a chance to say goodbye on the court - and I couldn't find a better tournament for it than the Buenos Aires Open."

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Juan Martin del Potro, of Argentina, holds up the championship trophy after winning the men's finals championship over Roger Federer, right, of Switzerland, at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Monday, Sept. 14, 2009. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Image: Juan Martin del Potro celebrates his 2009 US Open triumph

Turning professional in 2005, Del Potro claimed what would prove to be the most notable triumph of his career four years later when he beat Roger Federer in the US Open final at Flushing Meadows.

He also won a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics, beating Novak Djokovic to clinch it, and followed that up with a silver in the 2016 Games after losing to Andy Murray in the final.

Del Potro reached a highest world ranking of No. 3 in August 2018, but has undergone four knee surgeries since June 2019 which have kept the 33-year-old on the sidelines until now.

Murray to miss French Open and clay season

Andy Murray will skip the French Open and the whole of the clay court season as he plots his course through the rest of 2022.

Back in action in Rotterdam next week for the first time since his second-round exit at the Australian Open, the Scot is taking a bigger-picture view of the year ahead.

Murray has been plagued by injury issues since undergoing hip surgery in 2019 but has recently been able to stay on the court, with a strong second half of 2021 raising hopes of a return to contention for titles in 2022.

The 34-year-old's only French Open appearance in the last four years came in 2020, but he has not ruled out returning to Roland Garros in future.

Andy Murray's most recent French Open appearance came in 2020 (Getty)
Image: Andy Murray's most recent French Open appearance came in 2020

"Right now I am not planning on playing through the clay," Murray said on Sunday.

"The past couple of years, the clay has made issues worse; last year I had some issues at the beginning of the year, the clay didn't help, so I've spoken to my team about that and this year while I feel good and healthy, I don't want to take that risk.

"It's not that I wouldn't potentially play on clay in the future. Last year I almost missed Wimbledon, was close to not playing the grass season, I'm not planning on playing the clay. I will still try to compete a bit during that period, I won't do nothing, that's my plan just now.

"I had a busy end of last year and the next couple of months I won't take any risks and hopefully get a good build-up to the grass season."

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