“A Giant Man with a Giant Heart”

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Active players and former veterans have paid tribute to Juan Martin Del Potro after news of his retirement sent shockwaves through the tennis world. The Argentinian was emotional during a press conference before the ATP 250 tournament in Buenos Aires. He revealed that his knee had shown no signs of improvement after four surgeries.

The Argentine also insisted that his return to the tour in 2022 felt more like a goodbye and that at this point all he wanted was to live without pain.

Despite one injury after another, Del Potro has managed to have a great career since turning professional in 2005. His greatest achievement came at the 2009 US Open, when he became the first player to beat Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in a straight game. return matches at a major tournament.

Other career highlights include reaching another final at the 2018 US Open, winning silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics and claiming his first ATP Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells in 2018.

It’s safe to assume that Del Potro will be greatly missed if he decides to retire. On that note, let’s take a look at the prominent tennis personalities who paid their respects to the Gentle Giant earlier on Sunday.

“Tennis loves you Del Potro! Class” – Patrick McEnroe voices what every fan thinks of the Gentle Giant

Former pro James Blake, whose career was also hampered by injuries, offered his condolences to Del Potro. he also recalled an anecdote about when the Argentine waited to greet him in the dressing room after his own retirement.

The weather @delpotrojuan waited an hour in the open locker room in the US for the last game of my career to end so he could give me a hug. A giant man with a giant heart. Much love and best wishes for the next chapter, my friend. twitter.com/atptour/status…

World number 20 Taylor Fritz, on the other hand, revealed that Del Potro was his favorite player growing up while reminiscing about having had the chance to play doubles with him in the past.

My favorite player was growing up when I was young and I got to play dubs with him once but I was so nervous and it’s definitely my fault we lost……it was still cool twitter.com/atptour/status…

The ATP, meanwhile, asked their Twitter followers about their favorite moment involving the Tandil Tower. The US Open’s Twitter handle was quick to respond that the question was a no-brainer. They followed with a trophy emoji suggesting the Argentine’s decisive win at Flushing Meadows was still fresh in every fan’s memory.

Former professional and ESPN analyst Patrick McEnroe also expressed his sympathy for the 2009 US Open winner, saying everyone in the tennis world loves him.

Buenos Aires top-seeded Diego Schwartzman was more optimistic about his compatriot’s situation regarding his knee. He told the local press that the 33-year-old will hopefully try to launch another comeback.

Esto answered me Diego Schwartzman in conference of prensa sobre Del Potro: “Yo no tomo que sea una despedida, creo que con todas las dificultades que tiene con su físico va a intendar volver. El martes estaré ahí para ver su partido”. #CordobaOpen @Tiempodetenis1 https://t.co/soAp8TXXps

Benoit Paire also took to Twitter after the Argentine’s announcement, insisting he has great respect for the Gentle Giant and there is no one like him.

🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼 HUGE RESPECT FOR THIS PLAYER!! I hope it’s more a return than a goodbye🤞🏼🤞🏼 Juan Martin Del Potro #Vamos https://t.co/ID82Ov4srj

Gabriel Sabatini, who happens to be a good friend of Del Potro, also thanked his compatriot for his contribution both to the sport and to Argentina while wishing him happiness in his life after retirement.

Disfrutamos mucho de verte jugar y nos hiciste vibrar tantas veces, gracias por todo lo q le diste a este deporte q tanto amamos. Hoy tenes una vida por delante y mucho por recorrer, q seas muy feliz siempre. Seguiremos compartiendo muchos momentsos más.Te quiero❤️ @delpotrojuan https://t.co/GEthma5QeI

Former world number 7 Mardy Fish was optimistic about Del Potro’s return to professional tennis. He attached a photo of himself punching Tandil’s tower from the field during the latter’s encounter against Dominic Thiem at the 2017 US Open.

Alex Corretja, meanwhile, claimed that the Argentine’s forehand and charisma appealed to all tennis fans.

The Rafa Nadal Academy also offered their support for the former US Open champion, while attaching a photo of Rafael Nadal hugging the 6’6″ Argentine after their match at Wimbledon in 2018.

Querido @delpotrojuan, Nos duele en el alma verte decir adiós al tenis. Hope that puedas disfrutar lo best possible de estos momentos de despedida. ¡Te vamos a echar MUCHO de menos! 😢 https://t.co/sW4fkNgXow


Edited by Nihal Taraporvala

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