‘I wish him only happiness’ offers Rafael Nadal to ‘charismatic’ Juan Martin del Potro
Rafael Nadal has joined many in praising Juan Martin del Potro for his achievements over more than 15 years in professional tennis.
The 21-time Major winner noted how del Potro deserved far more from his career but that so many physical troubles prevented him from achieving such potential.
The words of Nadal come after del Potro played what was likely his final professional match, at the Argentina Open on 8th February, losing to compatriot Federico Delbonis before receiving undying support from the crowd.
“He has been one of the most charismatic players on the tour for a long time,” Nadal told the ATP from Acapulco ahead of his campaign at this week’s Mexican Open.
“I feel very sorry that he was not able to enjoy the career that he deserved because of all the physical injuries and problems that he had over the years.
“I feel very sorry for him, the only thing that I wish him is happiness and hopefully he can continue with his life in a positive way without suffering too much pain every single day.”
That pain is likely the biggest reason for del Potro’s retirement, stating ahead of his farewell match in Buenos Aires: “I want to live like a person of 33 years and try to not have pain.”
Nadal and del Potro shared a number of iconic encounters over the years, including an Olympic semi-final at Rio 2016 which saw the Argentinian giant defeat the Spaniard to reach the final and secure one of his crowning achievements, an Olympic silver medal to go along with his bromnze from London 2012.
The pair also played out an epic quarter-final in 2018 at Wimbledon, their penultimate ever meeting, as Nadal triumphed in five sets after more than four and a half hours on court.
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