'This May Be More Of A Farewell Than A Return' - Juan Martin Del Potro Pondering Retirement - UBITENNIS
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‘This May Be More Of A Farewell Than A Return’ – Juan Martin Del Potro Pondering Retirement

After fighting against various injury issues for years, the Tower of Tandil admits he could retire from the sport very soon.

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Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina is pictured in action during day three of ATP Fever-Tree Championships tennis tournament at Queen's Club in west London on June 19, 2019.

During an emotional press conference in Buenos Aires, Juan Martin del Potro has revealed that his latest comeback to the tour this month may be the last matches he plays before retiring.

 

The former US Open champion stunned reporters in the Argentine capital on Saturday when he opened up his press conference with a short statement concerning his future in the sport. Del Potro is set to return to action next week at the Argentina Open in what will be his first tournament since June 2019 due to a knee injury which has required a total of four surgeries.

Reflecting on his ongoing fitness battle, the 33-year-old was close to tears as he disclosed for the first time that his return to tennis might just be so that he can say his final farewell to the sport.

Before I start this conference I would like to send a message,” Del Potro began. “I have spent a lot of time thinking and imagining about this day, and I think this is one of the most difficult messages I will ever deliver.
“I know that people are expecting me to return to tennis, but this may be more of a farewell than a return.
“I have the strength to go forward but my knee is becoming a nightmare. I have been trying alternative treatments for a number of years, with different doctors and attempts to fix it.
“But I have still not found a solution. But I never imagined retiring from tennis without having the chance to say goodbye and I can’t imagine a better tournament than Buenos Aires to do it.
“After these weeks we will see what happens with my future, but I am clear that I want to live like a person of 33 years and try to not have pain.
“It’s a difficult decision, but I wanted to make it clear.”

Throughout his entire career, Del Potro’s rise in the sport has been hampered by injuries and surgery. He was just 20-years-old when he stunned Roger Federer in five sets to win the 2009 US Open. However, in the following years he was forced to spend long periods of time away from the Tour due to injury. Besides multiple knee operations, he has also undergone one right wrist and three left wrist surgeries. He was named the ATP’s comeback player of the year in 2011 and 2016.

Despite his multiple setbacks, Del Potro has won 22 titles on the ATP Tour, reached a ranking high of third and is a two-time Olympic medallist. He has also earned more prize money than any other Argentine player in history.

“Unfortunately, I had to deal with many injuries but I have fulfilled all my dreams with tennis. I have achieved most of the things I wanted to achieve,” he reflected.
“Maybe I won’t have a miraculous return to tennis like the ones I always had, possibly another decision in my career is just around the corner because of how my leg feels and how difficult it is for me. When it becomes part of everyday life and not sport, other things come into play.’
“I am a guy who likes to be active, run, play soccer, share with friends and all those things today I am unable to do. I never gave up, today it’s hard for me to move and I keep trying.’
“I want to enter the court on Tuesday and do my best to win, feel that internal fire that I always had in my career because I learned it when I was little and it doesn’t come out otherwise. In a few days with more calm I will see the direction to take”.

It is clear that the world No.3 continues to struggle with his knee after going through what he describes as ‘two-and-a-half years of pain.’ He says his focus now remains on his quality of life in the long term. Although he hasn’t completely ruled out the chance he could find a solution for his knee and somehow continue his career. Drawing inspiration from Andy Murray and others who have defied the odds.

In his opening match at the Argentina Open, Del Potro will take on compatriot Federico Delbonis who is two years younger than him. The two have only ever played against each other once before which was back in 2017 at Indian Wells.

“Obviously I’m going to want to win and do it in the best way,” he said. “Throughout this injury I always said that I was not going to give up and that I did not want my retirement to be in a press conference, but playing tennis. That’s why I decided to take on this challenge of going out on the court in a tournament where I practically started my career, I played it when I was very young.”

Del Potro also confirmed that he will play at the Rio Open which follows straight after Argentina after receiving a wildcard. That could be the last tournament of his career.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas Names His Best Personality Trait Ahead of Wimbledon Showdown With Kyrgios

The Greek has named one ‘defining aspect’ of her personality but will it have any relevance for his next match?

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Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) - Credit: AELTC/Joe Toth

Stefanos Tsitsipas says he is ‘thrilled’ to book a Wimbledon third round meeting with Nick Kyrgios later this week after seeing off Jordan Thompson in straight sets on Thursday.

 

The world No.5 rallied his way to a 6-2, 6-3, 7-5, over Thompson to record only his fifth main draw win at the tournament in his career. Despite his accolades on the Tour, Tsitsipas has endured disappointment at The All England Club. In his four previous appearances, he lost in the first round three times.

Nevertheless, the Greek appears to be heading in the right direction on the grass after winning the Mallorca Open less than a week ago. Although he will be truly tested on Saturday when he faces the dangerous Kyrgios who he lost to in Halle earlier this year after winning the first set. Kyrgios produced a clinical performance in his second round match which he said was a message sent to media criticism him.

“Nick has more matches on me in these courts. He claims to like grass. I think his game is good for the grass,” said Tsitsipas.
“I am definitely thrilled to be facing him. I respect him a lot, on the court, what he’s trying to do. Although he has been a little controversial in the past, I think he’s playing good tennis.’
“I’m going to try and concentrate on doing my thing and pay attention to my own game from start to finish. Hopefully I can stay there and do something great, have a great competitive match against him.”

Kyrgios’ talent has never been disputed but it is his mentality which has at times been his downfall. In his first round match, he was aggravated by the crowd, argued with a match official and spat in front of some people in the stands who were ‘disrespecting’ him.

As for Tsitsipas, the 23-year-old believes his mental strength is one of his best personality traits.

“My mentality is pretty strong. If I fall, I’ll always get up and work hard. I never really have these days where I’m saying, I don’t want to practice today,” he said
“I feel like other players would have that a bit more often than I do. If I fall, I always get up, one thing to get stronger.”

It remains to be seen if Tsitsipas will come back stronger against Kyrgios as he seeks revenge for his recent loss. Although he has lost to the Australian on two other occasions with his only victory in their rivalry being at the Laver Cup.

You just go out on the court hoping to have a good match, hoping to be able to get balls back, be precise with your shot selection. That comes with good preparation. The rest will hopefully follow if you’re able to approach that with the right mindset.” Tsitsipas explained.

Tsitsipas is the only seeded player remaining in his section of the draw after two rounds played.

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Andy Murray, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer form dream team for London’s Laver Cup

Build-up to September’s Laver Cup has already begun and some big names are set to feature.

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Andy Murray’s Wimbledon may have come to a disappointing end yesterday, but there is hope on the horizon yet.

 

It was announced shortly before his second-round encounter with John Isner, that the three-time Grand Slam champion has signed up to play in September’s Laver Cup.

This would mark Murray’s first appearance in the competition.

Being a home tournament for the Brit, fans will be hoping and praying he stays fit for September’s showpiece at the O2 Arena.

Team Europe assembles dream team

With the confirmation of tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, the addition of Murray adds more stellar firepower and history to Europe’s cast.

With three of six confirmed, who could the other three names be?

Surely, teen sensation Carlos Alcaraz should be given a place at the table.

The Spaniard has taken the ATP Tour by storm this season, winning not one but TWO Masters 1000’s in Miami and Madrid.

He also became the youngest member of the top ten since you guessed it, his idol Nadal.

Another strong contender would be Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.

Having spent three months out with a hand injury, he stormed to titles in Stuttgart and Queen’s proving to be the season’s standout player on grass.

He unfortunately had to pull out of Wimbledon on the eve of his first-round match after contracting Coronavirus.

If fit, he would be a worthy addition after debuting at the event last year.

The romantics would love for another big name in Stan Wawrinka.

The Swiss is well and truly in the twilight of his career.

Like Andy, he has won three Grand Slam’s and would be warmly welcomed by close friend Roger, who he won the 2008 Beijing Olympics doubles gold alongside.

And then there’s Marin Cilic who was in fine form to reach the semi-finals of the French Open, making him only one of five active players to reach all four Grand Slam semi-finals.

The former US Open champion played in the inaugural Laver Cup back in 2017.

Team World – Diego Schwartzman, Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger Aliassime confirmed

The challenge of Team Captain John McEnroe is that his counterpart, Bjorn Borg has a wealth of talent at his disposal.

Whilst, the American doesn’t quite have the same luxury.

Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and Indian Wells winner Taylor Fritz were the first two confirmed names.

Canadian talents Felix Auger Aliassime (confirmed) and Denis Shapovalov (not yet confirmed), are the standout names that Team World will bolster their ranks with.

That would then leave two places left with McEnroe likely to call on past stalwarts from previous editions.

This could be 37-year-old Isner, who was highly impressive in defeating Murray yesterday at Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, the seven-time Grand Slam champion is a known fan and admirer of the feisty Nick Kyrgios.

The two big servers could therefore be the final names.

Other possibilities would be American’s Frances Tiafoe, who has played the Laver Cup before, and the talented Sebastian Korda.

Following the announcement of Murray, more confirmations cannot be far away.

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Spain’s Bautista Agut Latest Player To Test Positive For Covid At Wimbledon

It is understood that The All England Club is reviewing their Covid-19 policy amid fears of an outbreak.

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Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) - Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

This year’s Wimbledon men’s tournament has had a third seeded player forced to pull out after testing positive for COVID-19.

Roberto Bautista Agut, who was the 17th seed in the draw, has withdrawn from his second-round match against Daniel Elahi Galan which was set to get underway on Thursday afternoon on Court Three. Announcing his decision on Twitter, the Spaniard said his symptoms are ‘not very serious‘ but he believes not playing is the right thing to do.

“Today I have notified Wimbledon of my withdrawal. I have tested positive for Covid-19. Fortunately, the symptoms are not very serious but I think it is the best decision (not to play).” Bautista Agut wrote.
“I hope to be back soon.”

 

The 34-year-old was making his eighth main draw appearance at The All England Club this year. In 2019 he reached the semi-finals in what is his best-ever result at a Grand Slam tournament to date.

Earlier this week Marin Cilic and Matteo Berrettini also withdrew from Wimbledon after positive Covid tests. However, they hadn’t played their first round match which Bautista Agut did. The trio of cases raise fears of a possible outbreak in the tournament given how contagious it can be.

Wimbledon’s Covid-19 policy is made in conjunction with advice issued by local health officials. Although it is unclear if a player is required to withdraw from an event if they have the virus. Ubitennis asked a spokesperson for clarity on the matter but was instead given a generic statement.

As a major event we have and continue to work in conjunction with the UK Public Health Security Agency and our Local Authority,’ An All England Club spokesperson said via email on June 26th.

“As a major event we have and continue to work in conjunction with the UK Public Health Security Agency and our Local Authority.

“We have maintained enhanced cleaning and hand sanitising operations, and offer full medical support for anyone feeling unwell. We are following UK guidance around assessment and isolation of any potential infectious disease.

“Our player medical team also continue to wear face masks for any consultation.”

The Guardian has reported that a review of Wimbledon’s guidelines is underway. This was before Agut said he had also contracted the virus. However, there has been no formal announcement concerning any review. 

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