While Roger Federer eases gracefully into retirement, life without tennis has been pure hell for Juan Martin del Potro.
The Argentine who made his one big impression in 2009 when he beat Federer to win the US Open has been cursed ever since by injuries.
The 34-year-old who once reached third in the world has revealed that life is now a misery, with pain in his knee a constant and depressing factor.
Delpo last made an attempt to play last February in Buenos Aires, going down in a first-round loss; the match was his first on the Tour since mid-2019.
Shortly after defeating Federer in New York 12 years ago, the South American suffered his first set of injuries, which ended up affecting both of his wrists.
His knees are now the big concerns, with doctors seemingly unable to come up with a solution for his pain.
“This has been my reality for the last three and a half years, despite the new surgeries and treatments I tried, nothing ever happened,” he said..
“Today I can only walk, I can’t even run on the treadmill, I can’t walk up stairs without pain.
“I can’t even drive for a long time without having to stop to stretch my legs because of the pain.
“This is my reality, it is very hard, very sad, but I keep looking for ways to improve.”
Delpo said that he has received no joy from Swiss knee specialists.
“I started a new treatment, one that was recommended to me by several professional tennis players, but so far I have not had a single positive result,” he said..
“Imagine how hard that feeling is after every attempt, be it treatment or surgery.
“The frustration I can feel when things don’t work out is hard to explain.
“As always, I deceive myself, I want to wait, I have faith in every new treatment I try, but every time it fails it is a very hard blow.”
The former player said he is slowly losing faith and is finding it increasingly hard to adjust to life without tennis.
“I cannot psychologically accept a life without tennis,” he confssed.
“I did not have a gradual transition for this, I did not prepare, I have no idea what other athletes did to live this process in peace.
“I was No. 3 in the world, until suddenly I broke my knees and here I am, with nothing.”
Main photo:-Juan Martin Del Potro, Shanghai Masters 2009 by Roger Parker Fotosports International