A Three-Week Coma, Diabetes and Heart Problems: JC Aragone Inspires Fans At The US Open - UBITENNIS
Connect with us


A Three-Week Coma, Diabetes and Heart Problems: JC Aragone Inspires Fans At The US Open




It is rare that a player can only win seven games during their first round match and still be the source of inspiration for many in the world of tennis. Then again, Juan Cruz Aragone’s journey in life has been far from ordinary.

At the age of 16 it was unclear if he would ever play tennis again. An adverse reaction to a drug treating the flu placed Aragone in a three-week coma after he suffered kidney and liver damage. Soon after, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. A lifelong condition that causes a person’s blood sugar to go too high. If that wasn’t bad enough, he also endured numerous heart problems caused by his allergic reaction. Going in and out of hospital for a period of two years.

“He lost a lot of weight, a lot of muscle,” his mother Paula told The New York Times. “And he had a lot of problems with his heart because of the complications.”

The traumatic experience failed to deter the American, who return to the sport via the college circuit. He was at a cross-roads in his life about what to do next. At one point he was preparing for a career in finance, working as an intern at JP Morgan Chase in New York. Nevertheless, he opted to give his tennis career a go with the support of his parents.

“My original goal was to give myself a year. I mean, I’m still sticking with a year because I have been 10 weeks on the road and that’s been the hardest 10 weeks of my life. I will leave it to the one-year goal. I see myself playing a lot longer.”

Leading into the final grand slam of the year, Aragone played a series of Future and Challenger tournaments this season, achieving a main draw win-loss of 12-12. His best result of the year so far was reaching the final of a Spanish Futures event in June.

Aragone’s US Open breakthrough seemed as if it was fate. He was given a wild card into the qualifying tournament after a series of player withdrawals. Seizing his opportunity, the 22-year-old produced wins over Marco Cecchinato, Riccardo Bellotti and Akira Santillan to reach his maiden grand slam main draw.

A role model to others

Embed from Getty Images

Playing professional tennis with diabetes is far from easy. Facing Kevin Anderson in the first round in New York, Aragon had to leave the court after the first set to receive an injection from the doctor.

“My blood sugar was all over the place. I had to leave during the match one time to go give myself an injection. But that was easy. I mean, they called the doctor.” He explained after his 6-3, 6-3, 6-1, loss.

Explaining what it is like to play with a low blood sugar, the world No.534 compared it to not eating. He can experience dizziness and feelings that he might pass out. Fortunately, he has become a pro in managing his condition and it not phased by it any more.

“In a perfect world, it would have been great to be like you guys out there, but that’s just not the case.”

Aragone hopes to use his US Open experience as a source of inspiration for other athletes suffering from diabetes. He said that he has received a ‘ton of Facebook messages’ from members of the public coping with the same condition.

“At the moment I’m talking to a lot of different diabetes organizations trying to, you know, be almost like the first tennis player to be sponsored by them, become an ambassador.” He revelled.
“I know they have — Nick Jonas is a pretty big diabetic support, but you just don’t see many athletes like that. So I feel like it’s kind of an untapped area where I can kind of help athletes that, you know, feel like they are a little down because of this condition.”

It is unclear what the future holds for the American. If he will continue his tennis dream or switch back to his ambitions in the financial sector. Either way, Aragone has become an example of how to fight back when all the odds are piled against you.

This is why he exits the US Open as a winner.

Continue Reading
Click to comment


Nick Kyrgios Opens Up About His Self-Harm Battle And Murray’s Support



Nick Kyrgios (AUS) playing against Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) in the third round of the Gentlemen's Singles on No.1 Court at The Championships 2021. Held at The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon. Day 6 Saturday 03/07/2021. Credit: AELTC/Jonathan Nackstrand

Nick Kyrgios says he became addicted to pain during his battle with self-harm that lasted between 18 and 24 months.


In an exclusive interview with Piers Morgan Uncensored on TalkTV, the former Wimbledon finalist spoke about his mental health issues. Kyrgios has previously spoken publically about the topic but has now revealed further details about the extent he went through and the role Andy Murray played in supporting him. He was admitted to a psychiatric ward in London and contemplated suicide following the 2019 Wimbledon Championships.

“It was pretty dark to be honest,” Kyrgios told Morgan. “I won tournaments on the professional tour, drinking every night, self-harming, burning things on my arm, cutting myself for fun. It became an addiction of pain. I hated myself. I hated waking up and being Nick Kyrgios.”

One of those who tried to help the Australian address his self-harm problem was three-time Grand Slam champion Murray who noticed cuts on Kyrgios’ arms during one of their practice sessions four years ago. According to The Times, the former world No.1 then alerted Kyrgios’ manager John Morris about the cuts.

Paying tribute to the Brit, Kyrgios says Murray has supported him throughout his career. The 28-year-old has been ranked as high as 13th in the world and has won seven ATP titles. Besides his run to the Wimbledon final last year, he has also reached the quarter-final stage of a major on three other occasions.

“Andy was always a big supporter of me,” Kyrgios said. “As soon as I came on the tour, he kind of saw a work in progress and took me under his wing. Then he realised later in my career that I don’t think I was coachable or I was on my own path, but he was always someone that was looking out for me.
“He saw it [the self-harm] and he said, ‘What’s that on your arm?’ It was pretty bad at that stage. Andy obviously was trying to give me advice on it. But I was just so stuck in my ways at that time that I didn’t listen. Obviously I’m very thankful. I thank him a lot.”

Kyrgios, who has only played one match on the Tour this season due to injury, hopes that he can help others by speaking publicly about his mental health battle. Something he describes as ‘the most powerful thing in his career.’

“I feel like I’ve helped so many people after I opened up about it and put it on social media,” Kyrgios said.
“I’ve almost been a beacon for people who are struggling. When they feel like they’re overwhelmed and they’re going towards drinking, drugs and stuff, they open up and they feel like I’m relatable.
“That’s been the most powerful thing in my career; people coming to me with genuine issues.
“They send me photos in my Instagram, direct messages, self-harming and genuinely wanting to commit suicide.
“I have conversations with these people. Sometimes I’ve had phone calls with these people. That’s making a real difference and I’m just really proud.”

Kyrgios recently had a stint in broadcasting after working for The Tennis channel during the ATP Finals in Milan. He is continuing his rehab from injury but it is unclear as to when he will make his return to professional tennis.

Continue Reading


Hamad Medjedovic earns first place in Red Group at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



Hamad Medjedovic beat Abdullah Shelbayh 3-4 (6-8) 4-2 4-3 (7-5) 4-2 to earn first place in the Red Group with a perfect 3-0 record at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah. 


Medjedovic needed to win at least one set to reach the semifinals, while Shelbayh needed to win the match in three or four sets. Luca Van Assche qualified as the second-placed player from the Red Group.

Medjedovic will face Dominic Stricker in the semifinal, while Van Assche takes on Arthur Fils.  

Medjedovic fired 18 aces and won 88 % of his first-serve points. He saved all three break points against Shelbayh. 

Medjedovic fired a tournament-leading 45 aces and was broken twice. 

Medjedovic saved three break points to hold serve in the fourth game of the first set. Shelbayh went up a mini-break twice, but Medjedovic pulled back on serve both times. Shelbayh won the final three points to clinch the tie-break 8-6. Both players went on serve in the first five games before Medjedovic earned the break to win the second set 4-2. 

The third set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Shelbayh earned the first mini-break to take a 3-2 lead. Medjedovic pulled back on serve to draw level to 3-3. The Serbian player earned a second mini-break to close out the tie-break 7-5. 

Medjedovic started the fourth set with an early break in the first game. He held on his next service games and sealed the win on his first match point. 

Medjedovic set up a semifinal match against Dominic Stricker. Luc Van Assche will face Arthur Fils in an all-French semifinal.“It was a great match. I played really good after the first set He is a very good friend of mine. He is a very good player and obviously the crowd here loves him and I respect that. It was a pleasure to play in front of the crowd”, said Medjedovic. 

Continue Reading


Dominic Stricker cruises past Luca Nardi at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah



Third seed Dominic Stricker cruised past Luca Nardi 4-1 4-1 4-2 in 54 minutes in the fastest match in the history of the Next Gen Finals at the Next Gen ATP Finals at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah bouncing back from his defeat in the first match against Flavio Cobolli on Tuesday. 


Stricker converted four of his six break points and hit 13 winners, including 3 aces. 

Stricker came back from 15-40 down in the first game after two double faults from Nardi and broke serve with a return winner on the deciding point to take a 1-0 lead. The world number 94 saved three break-back-back points in the second game from 15-40 down before breaking for the second time in the fifth game to win the first set 4-1. 

Stricker broke serve at 30 in the second game of the second set and held serve at love in the third game to race out to a 3-0 lead. Stricker served it out on his second set point. 

Stricker earned an early break in the first game of the third set on the deciding point and held his next service games. Nardi saved the first match point but he hit his backhand into the net on the second match point after the longest rally of the match. 

“We had a long discussion yesterday evening about how to do it today. I think it was really good that we talked a lot after what maybe was not my best performance. Now to come out today like that, I think nobody expected that. I am just happy that I did it and now I am going to try my best to recover for the third group match”, said Stricker. Stricker is now 1-1 in Green Group. The Swiss player is aiming to reach his second consecutive semifinal at the Next Gen Finals. He is looking to crown a good year after reaching the fourth round at the US Open. 

Continue Reading