Juan Martín Del Potro, a magnet that sells out tickets and already glimpses his magical night

The wait is over. Emotions bloom every minute. The world of tennis paralyzes all eyes, from the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club to the entire planet. Everyone wants to see Juan Martín Del Potro on a court and that moment, after more than two and a half years of uncertainty, became imminent.

The man from Tandil will enter the mythical Court Central Guillermo Vilas, not before 20 this Tuesday, to play for the second time the Argentina Open, the fourth oldest tournament on the men’s tennis circuit. He will do it 965 days after his last game, the one he starred in on June 19, 2019 against Canadian Denis Shapovalov on the lawn of the Queen’s Club in London, where he stumbled and suffered from the fracture of the right patella that he had suffered months ago in Shanghai.

Overwhelmed by pain in the knee that took him to go through the operating room four times, Del Potro chose the Buenos Aires tournament to start his “farewell”, nothing less than 16 years after his first participation. That Monday was foundational for a 17-year-old player, then 155th in the world, who had received a wild card: played a great game against Juan Carlos Ferrero, the former number one who was 18th at the time, with whom he fell 6-2, 4-6 and 6-4.

“I thought I could win when it got even and that worked against me. It was to beat Ferrero, which I always saw it on TV and I had it like a crack. That’s why I also made many mistakes”, confessed at that time a young Del Potro, accompanied in that tournament by the coaches Marcelo Gomez and Paul Source.

From that Monday to the debut of this Tuesday 5839 days will have passed immersed in a confluence between success and the nightmare of injuries. Del Potro won it all: the US Open in 2009, the historic Davis Cup for Argentina in 2016 and the two Olympic medals, at the height of his achievements. However, he went through more than five and a half years inactive if all the stops are added that he had to face for the eight surgeries –the one on the right wrist in 2010 and the three of the left hand between 2014 and 2015, before the last four in the knee-.

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The fusion between the two realities, the one that elevated him as one of the best tennis players of the time and the one that stopped him when could add even more conquests, deposit it in a present wrapped in emotions. “This return to tennis may not be like that. Perhaps it is a farewell rather than a return. I tried a lot but the knee led me to live a nightmare”, said Saturday at the opening of a press conference that distilled commotion and that he broke it more than once.

The Argentina Open will be, then, and barring the appearance of a miracle, the origin of a goodbye as it should be: on the field, with his people and in his country. That is why Del Potro, who in the bowels of the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club He became the magnet of the tournament, he prepared himself consciously and he even had the pleasure of receiving the love of the public during the last hours before the great debut, the one that you will find him with his friend Federico Delbonis, with whom he shared that unforgettable cupbearing team led by Daniel Orsanic.

The former number three in the world trained this Monday, early, in court 12 of the BALTC, in view of a balcony built with tubulars that has a single function: people can enjoy their working days. More than 100 people squeezed during the practice of the Tandilense with the German Yannick Hanfmann, 30 years old and 119th in the world.

All exercises were closely watched by his physical trainer Leonardo Jorge, his physiotherapist Bernardo Kuszej and his former coach Sebastián Prieto, with whom he also played ball before the arrival of Hanfmann. There were no signs of pain or limitations in movement. Del Potro made the ball run As in its heyday. He is excited: his magical night is already a fact.

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