del Potro targetting Tokyo Olympics for injury comeback

Former tennis world No. 3 Juan Martin del Potro said he hopes to return after a long injury layoff at this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Argentina’s del Potro has not played since June 2019, when he suffered a fractured right patella for the second time in nine months during the Queen’s ATP 500 tournament in London.

He has since undergone three operations, the most recent of which took place in Switzerland last August.

“I think this is my year,” the 32-year-old told reporters at an event on Wednesday in which he was named the best Argentine player of the past decade, Xinhua news reported.

“The Olympic Games are giving me the motivation that I need. The knee is giving me a lot of headaches but I’m not ready to end my career yet. I feel I have more to give and that’s why I’m going to keep trying,” said del Potro.

The tennis event of the Olympics will be played at Ariake Park from July 24 to August 1.

del Potro, who won bronze at London 2012 and silver in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, four years later said he is determined to finish his career on a high after many “ups and downs”.

“Sometimes I am eager (to return) and other times it’s hard to envisage but I feel there is something inside me and so I keep fighting,” he said. “I want to end my career when it is right for me and not because of my health.”