Juan Martin Del Potro’s (Almost) Perfect Return To Tennis In Argentina - UBITENNIS
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Juan Martin Del Potro’s (Almost) Perfect Return To Tennis In Argentina

As he served to stay in the match tears began to fall from Del Potro’s face. Not only was it nearly the end of his campaign at the 2022 Argentina Open, it may also be the end of his career.



Foto: Prensa Argentina Open/Sergio Llamera/Ubitennis.es

It is hard to believe that almost 13 years have passed since Juan Martin del Potro sent shockwaves throughout the men’s Tour by winning one of the most prestigious titles.


In 2009 at the age of 20 and seeded sixth in the US Open draw, the Argentine known affectionately as the ‘Tower of Tandil’ became only the second man from his country to reach the final after the great Guillermo Vilas. He went on to win the title by defeating Roger Federer in a five-set epic who himself was on an incredible 40-match winning streak in the tournament.

“I have new opportunities in the other Grand Slams to win, because if I did it here, if I beat Nadal, Federer and many good players, maybe I can do it one more time (elsewhere),” he said following the triumph.

Unfortunately for Del Potro the years which followed was a mixture of both jubilation and despair. While he has managed to rise to as high as third in the world back in 2018 and won 22 ATP titles, he will be remembered as being one of the most unluckiest men in the sport. For months and sometimes years he would be sidelined from the Tour due to injury. Incredibly, he has had a total of eight surgeries since 2010 in order to prolong his career.

There was surgery on his right wrist in 2010, then three additional procedures on his left wrist between 2014 and 2015. Four years later it was his knee which proved to be problematic as he went under the knife in June 2019, January 2020, August 2020 and March 2021. Throughout his career, Del Potro has consistently missed at least nine months of tennis on four separate occasions. This equates to exactly three years.


Somehow he always managed to stage a comeback against the odds and to the delight of his fans. However, he knew that one day his body would no longer allow him to do so and there is a strong likelihood that his latest return will be his final farewell.

Taking to the courts of the Argentina Open on Monday evening, Del Potro was greeted by a packed crowd who cheered him on. Among those in attendance was his mother, Patricia, who had previously never watched him play an ATP match in person. Playing competitively for the first time since June 2019, del Potro fell 6-1, 6-3, to compatriot Federico Delbonis after 84 minutes.

“Today I left everything until the last point. My last game was on the court and not in (a press) conference. And that’s what I wanted. I feel like I gave everything, until the last point,” La Nacion newspaper quoted Del Potro as saying afterwards.


The match marked only the second time Del Potro had ever played an ATP tournament in his home country which seems baffling to some. The first was back in 2006 when he was 17 and lost in the first round to Juan Carlos Ferrero in three sets.

“I think tonight (Monday night) exceeded everything I imagined. Do I regret not having played more times in the Buenos Aires tournament? No, because I put together my calendars thinking about Indian Wells and Miami, on the hard court, in the first three or four months of the year and then being good for the rest of the year,” he explains.
“Also, I don’t regret it because if this was my last tournament I was able to live it intensely. Perhaps at another time it would not have lived like this time.”

It can be argued that outside of the sports Big Three, Del Potro has established himself as one of the most popular players within the sport. According to 24Trends, around the same time he was playing against Delbonis the phrase ‘Delpo’ was among the top 10 trending terms worldwide on Twitter with an estimated count of 26,000 references. Even more incredible is that in Argentina he has topped the trending list for eight-consecutive hours.


The surge of interest is undoubtedly due to the return of one of the sport’s well known figures but it is more than that. It is a chance for fans to watch the Argentine play once again before he stops for good. Del Potro has not yet definitively stated that he will retire from tennis. However, as his body continues to suffer, so do his hopes.

“I wish I could sleep without leg pain. It is very difficult to do this sport with the discomfort I have,” he admits.
“I feel that I want to live in peace and I have my whole life ahead of me. Health leads me to make a decision of which I am not convinced. I think I fulfilled all my objectives in tennis, perhaps I was left with the thorn of not having reached number 1.”

Continuing to talk about his current health, Del Potro states that he wants to have a body ‘which does what he wants, not what he can.’ Prior to the start of the Argentina Open he spoke about one example where conducting a long drive to see friends was troublesome due to his knee. Something as trivial as this would frustrate any elite athlete.

So is it the end for Del Potro? Only time will tell. He has received a wild card to play in Brazil next week at the Rio Open but there are already doubts.

“Right now I am not sure about Rio. At the time he did have the illusion of playing both tournaments. It’s special to me, because of the Olympics. I calculate that in these hours we will make a decision,” he outlined.
“What I make clear to you, with or without Rio, is that later I will make a stand and prioritize living life with less pain.”

Del Potro, who turns 34 this September, has given fans a glimmer of hope by saying in a message that he will try his best to fix his knee issue. Although he admits he is unsure of how possible that may be.

Either way, his return to tennis in Buenos Aires was that of a fairytale.

Sometimes tennis isn’t all about winning matches.


Alexander Zverev Deserves More Respect According To Boris Becker

According to Boris Becker, Alexander Zverev deserves more respect from tennis journalists.



Alexander Zverev (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Boris Becker has claimed that Alexander Zverev deserves more respect despite Zverev failing to live up to his potential at Grand Slams.


Zverev has only reached one Grand Slam final in his career despite being a regular inside the world’s top ten as well as performing at regular ATP events.

This season Zverev played a limited schedule after recovering from an ankle injury but still managed to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

However most critics have been loud when judging Zverev’s career as it was looking likely that he would be a regular Grand Slam champion.

The German has failed to live up to expectations but former Grand Slam champion Boris Becker believes Zverev deserves more respect.

Speaking to Eurosport Becker also said that Zverev’s father being the coach is a more than successful approach when it comes to the former US Open finalist’s career, “In my opinion, he doesn’t get enough respect from the tennis experts internationally,” Becker explained.

“They’re all talking about the young three or four, but don’t give Zverev, Medvedev or Rublev enough respect. He’s playing with his fist in his pocket a little bit, wants everyone show that he is not a thing of the past, but that his best time is yet to come.

“Surely his father knows best what is good for his son, but if you look into the box at the competition, you can also see changes.”

Becker has followed Zverev for most of his career so knows that the best is yet to come from the German.

Alexander Zverev will look to prove himself next season when he starts his 2024 season when he represents Germany at the United Cup.

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Juan Carlos Ferrero Analyses Key Areas For Carlos Alcaraz’s Development

Juan Carlos Ferrero has outlined the next steps in Carlos Alcaraz’s development.



(@tennisnewsbrazil - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz’s coach, Juan Carlos Ferrero has analysed the key areas for the Spaniard’s development heading into the 2024 season.


The former world number one’s season has come to an end after a successful year which saw him win the Wimbledon title as well as winning two Masters 1000 titles.

Alcaraz capped off an incredible season by reaching the semi-finals at the Nitto ATP Finals, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

However there is a long way for the Spaniard to go if he wants to consistently go toe-to-toe with Novak Djokovic.

Speaking to Marca Alcaraz’s coach Juan Carlos Ferrero spoke about the Spaniard’s development and said that Alcaraz is too emotional, “Be more regular in games, not open doors. Sometimes there are mistakes and it is something that we have to improve a lot,” Ferrero commented.

“Although it is true that he opens doors, he always competes well and at the highest level. He knows it, the other day he already said that Novak doesn’t give you one. He has to improve his decision making and he will achieve that with experience. Carlos is very emotional and that sometimes helps him and other times not so much.”

It’s clear Alcaraz’s high-quality is there but to consistently do it against Djokovic is another task altogether as the Spaniard looks to go from strength-to strength next season.

One area that is clearly a priority for Alcaraz is physical conditioning especially considering what happened against Djokovic at Roland Garros earlier in the season.

Ferrero said that will be a clear focus heading into 2024 but couldn’t guarantee that Alcaraz will play a tournament before the Australian Open, “Because of the year and the fatigue he has been in, what he needs is rest and disconnecting for 8-10 days with his friends,” Ferrero stated.

“From there, the thinking must go back to working really hard, strong and well to start very strongly in Australia. One can never be sure of that. Sometimes you play a tournament and it doesn’t go well, you left home too early. There are many ways of thinking.

“This year we haven’t played Australia and he finishes number two. That means there is no urgency to play a tournament early. Carlos is a player who enters competition quickly, you don’t usually see him without rhythm.

“Although it is true that he becomes more dangerous from the round of 16, from the quarter-finals. I am confident that the two exhibition matches and the training sessions will help us play a good tournament.”

Alcaraz will be looking to play the Australian Open which starts on the 15th of January after the Spaniard missed last year’s tournament due to a leg injury.

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Australian Open Chief Confident Nadal Will Play But Kyrgios’ Participation Uncertain



Nadal RG 2022 by Night (foto @RolandGarros)

The tournament director of the Australian Open says he is ‘certain’ that Rafael Nadal will play at the Grand Slam even though the Spaniard has yet to outline his comeback plans. 


Craig Tiley told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday he hopes to receive some clarity over Nadal’s intentions in the next couple of weeks but is confident he will play. However, the tennis official had previously claimed in October that the former world No.1 had already committed to play in the event before his team denied that statement.  

Nadal, who has won 22 Grand Slam titles, hasn’t played a Tour match since his second round defeat at the Australian Open in January due to a hip injury. He was originally expecting to take an eight-week break but the recovery didn’t go to plan and he ended up having surgery. In May he confirmed that he will take an extended break from the sport to heal his body and admitted that retirement next year is a possibility.

“Rafa has been training, I follow him closely, probably every day because he’s a massive drawcard for us,” the Reuters News Agency quoted Tiley as saying. 
“He wants to play, he’s obviously planning on playing. It all depends on how he pulls up.
“Hopefully in the next week or the next two weeks, we get some specific confirmation of that. I’m certain Rafa will be here because he’s not going to want to miss the opportunity to repeat what he did a couple of years ago.”

Earlier this month Nadal confirmed that he intends to return to the Tour but admits that he will continue to experience a degree of pain. Although he has yet to give any information about which tournament he will begin his comeback at. The 2024 season begins during the first week of January.

“I’m well, training, and happy. I’m at a good stage of my life,” atptour.com quoted Nadal as telling reporters in Barcelona.
“Until now I didn’t know if I would play tennis again someday, and now I genuinely believe I will. I’m still not ready to say when, but I’m able to train increasingly longer, and the progress is good.’

Will Kyrgios play?

Another player Tiley is eager to welcome back is home player and former Wimbledon Finalist Nick Kyrgios who has only played one Tour-level match this season due to injury. He underwent knee surgery in January and then tore a ligament in his wrist during the summer. As a result, the Australian currently doesn’t have an ATP ranking due to his inactivity. 

“We have spoken to Nick, and he obviously wants to do the best he possibly can to give him the best chance to play in January,” Tiley said of Kyrgios.
“Whether he’s playing, whether he’s doing something else, Nick will be here in January and to get him to play will be great. But we’ve got to take it as it comes and he’s got to make sure he takes care of his health …” 

Kyrgios recently worked as an analyst for the Tennis Channel during this year’s ATP Finals in Turin and gave a brief update on his ongoing recovery during a segment. 

“After last year, I had such a great year, and I’m so hungry to get back out there,” the 2022 Wimbledon finalist commented.
“So I’m doing everything I can to get back out there. Obviously, you know how injuries are every day, just doing the rehab, doing the gym work.”

The Australian Open will begin on Sunday 14th January. Novak Djokovic and Aryna Sabalenka are the defending champions. 

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