Returning to the scene of his greatest triumph, the feel-good story of 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro continued at the US Open.
Returning to the scene of his greatest triumph, the feel-good story that is Juan Martin del Potro continued at the US Open as he won his first match in New York since 2013.
Due to a succession of wrist injuries, 2009 US Open champion Del Potro had not played at Flushing Meadows since losing to Lleyton Hewitt three years ago, but that all changed on Tuesday.
Fresh from his silver-medal run at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Del Potro got the better of fellow Argentinian Diego Schwartzman 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-3).
"I am so glad to be part of this tournament once again after three years. I really appreciate the wild card who give me to have the chance to play, and that's important for me," the 27-year-old told reporters afterwards.
"Always, in every match here at the US Open, the crowd make me feels special. I really like the atmospheres down there. They create another things in every court.
"It's amazing for me just having the chance to play here once again."
As he enjoys an injury-free run, Del Potro was asked how close he was to retiring amid his wrist woes, and he said: "I was really close to quit tennis because after the first surgery, the second one, and in the end the third one, it was really, really sad moments for me. Nobody knows what should I have to fix my problem.
"My family and friends help me a lot to never give up. And I think I'm doing well now. The worst part of my life is totally in the past, and I'm living a good present and looking forward for a good future.
"Hopefully I couldn't think what I'm going to do the rest of my life after tennis because now I'm trying to play tennis again. I would like to do this for a few years."