Del Potro Embracing 'Second Chance' In Toronto
After a four-year absence, Juan Martin del Potro made his return to Rogers Cup action in 2017 ranked just outside the Top 30 in the ATP Rankings. One year on from his second-round loss to #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov, the Argentine makes just his second appearance in Toronto, as World No. 4, in fine form.
But three years ago, Del Potro was not sure if he would ever return to Toronto after considering retirement as he struggled to deal with a serious wrist injury. The Tower of Tandil contested just four tour-level matches in 2015 before injury forced him to miss almost a year of competition.
”I considered [retirement] three years ago… because I had been suffering a lot… I was depressed for a couple of months because I couldn't find a way to fix the wrist problems,” said Del Potro. “But now you can imagine how happy I am playing tennis again, being in the Top 5 again, after a long time, winning titles and playing my best tennis ever, maybe.
”I'm having one of my best seasons this year and it's amazing. I never expected to be in this moment again after all my problems, so I just want to keep enjoying this second chance of the tennis life.”
Despite early losses in recent campaigns, Del Potro knows what it takes to make a deep run at the Canadian event. One month prior to lifting the US Open title in 2009, the Argentine defeated two Top 5 players en route to the championship match in Montreal.
”It was one of the best tournaments I've played in my career,” said Del Potro. “I remember that I beat Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal, and then I lost against [Andy] Murray in the final, which is a tough draw.
”But now, the situation is completely different. I'm playing good. I'm No. 4 in the [ATP Rankings] and I have a chance to keep improving my ranking this week, but, if not, I will be happy anyway.”
There are signs that the 29-year-old may be ready to replicate his form of nine years ago this week. Del Potro, who occupies the No. 4 spot in both the ATP Rankings and ATP Race to London, arrives in Toronto after contesting his fourth tour-level championship match of the season in Los Cabos (l. to Fognini).
”I think I did well [in Los Cabos],” said Del Potro. “I reached another final in the season, which is good for my year. Fabio played much better than me. He deserved to win.
”But now it is a different tournament, different expectations. I'm looking forward to playing at the same level and see if I can still have good results.”