Juan Martin del Potro will pin hopes of a comeback in time for the Tokyo Olympic Games on a fourth right knee surgery. The former World No. 3 announced the news on his Instagram on Monday, when he revealed he was in Chicago about to proceed with the operation.
It marks the eighth time the 32-year-old will undergo surgery since winning his sole Grand Slam title at the 2009 US Open. The 22-time ATP Tour titlist has not competed since June 2019, when he fractured his kneecap at the Queen’s Club, London.
“I’ve been consulting Dr Jorge Chahla and the news is that tomorrow I’ll undergo another surgery on my knee,” del Potro posted. “We’ve tried conservative therapy but the pain is still there. He knows I want to play tennis again and be able to play the Olympics, so we agreed that surgery should be done as soon as possible.”
The Olympic tennis event, postponed a year due to the pandemic, is scheduled to begin on 24 July, a day after the Opening Ceremony. The Argentine won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Games and a bronze medal at the 2012 London Games.
Since the injury, del Potro has had operations on the right knee in June 2019, and in January and August last year. It comes in a difficult year in which he lost his father, Daniel, in January, following a heart operation in December.
“Of course, these last few weeks weren’t easy for me,” he said. “Everything’s so hard since my father’s passing. But also, I feel the strength he sends me from above. I had this day in which I woke up and called the doctor. I knew I had to try again.
“I hope I can overcome this painful situation. I won’t stop trying. Of course, your messages and best wishes are always welcomed. Thanks for the love. Take care.”