It's Getting Dusty In Here

This clip of Juan Martin del Potro breaking down before playing possibly his final game will hit you right in the feels

February 09, 2022

Tennis' Big Three of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Novak Djokovic were all part of the semifinals at the 2009 U.S. Open. But they had no chance against a big Argentine named Juan Martin del Potro.

Then 20, Del Potro smoked Nadal in the semis in straight sets, then outlasted Federer in five sets in the finals, ending Federer's five-year reign in the event. I'll never forget it, because I happened to cover that semifinal, and Del Potro's forehand was the most unstoppable weapon outside of Mariano Rivera's cutter. When this 6-foot-6 beast had time to line it up, the point was already over.

So why did Del Potro never win another major? Why wasn't there ever a Big Four? Sadly, injuries derailed what could have been a legendary career. First, the wrist, and then a fractured kneecap in 2019 that has completely kept him off the court for more than two years. Which leads us to the purpose of this post.

On Tuesday, del Potro made his long-awaited return at the Argentina Open. And if that wasn't going to be emotional enough, the 33-year-old hinted it might be his final tournament. So when it was time for him to serve down 5-3 in the second set after dropping the first to fellow countryman Federico Delbonis, Del Potro needed a towel. And not because he was sweating.

Check out this clip that will hit you right in the feels:

What a powerful scene. Sports, am I right?

"I gave everything until the last point and today I hope I can sleep without pain in my leg after two years," he said on the court after. "That is what I am going to try and do from tomorrow. It's very hard to play this sport with the discomfort I have. Today I have my whole life ahead of me and I want to live in peace."

All the best, Delpo. We'll always have 2009.