Former US Open winner Juan Martin del Potro has knee issues that make it painful for him to ascend stairs.
The T’ower of Tandil’, 34, injured his kneecap after a strange slip at the Queen’s Club Championships in 2019.
Before the accident, the Argentine was rated third in the world, and following numerous failed surgeries,
He sadly ended his career early this year with a farewell match in Buenos Aires.
The 22-time champion Argentinian, who is six feet six inches tall, has had trouble accepting his retirement.
He said the following during a tearful interview with Argentine media:
“I can’t psychologically accept a life without tennis.
“I did not have a gradual transition to the after, I did not prepare, and I have no idea what the other athletes did to live this process peacefully.
I was number three in the world, then suddenly I broke my knees and here I am, with nothing.”
Del Potro made it to the Wimbledon semifinals in 2013 and won two medals at the Olympics.
Earlier in his career, the Argentine battled wrist issues to achieve his tennis peak before suffering a severe knee injury.
I can’t psychologically accept a life without tennis: Juan Martin del Potro
Del Potro continues to experience everyday knee discomfort despite undergoing much surgery.
“Imagine what it’s like after every treatment attempt or surgery, the frustration I can feel when things don’t work out,”
“As usual I delude myself, I hope, I have faith in every new treatment I try and, when this fails, the blow is hard.
And for three and a half years, despite several surgeries and treatments, it always happened.
“Today I can only walk, I do not run on the treadmill, I cannot climb the stairs without pain. I can’t drive for a long time without stopping to stretch my legs.
“This is my reality, which is hard, it is sad, but I always try to improve my situation and my new challenge is also to live in the best possible way, even psychologically, despite my problem.”
The 2018 US Open final, which would be del Potro’s final major final, saw Novak Djokovic defeat him.
Del Potro only recently came to the conclusion that his ambition of ascending to the top was over.
“And all this time I was trying to recover, as I have with any other injury until in Buenos Aires I said: ‘That’s enough’.
“And from Buenos Aires I found myself, and I am still there, in that process of reflection, I wonder what things I might like, I don’t know.
“When I talk to other athletes who are no longer active, they say to me, ‘Well, it took me the last two years of my career, the last year, I prepared myself this way or that way. I’m doing it now.”
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