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What does it depend on to become a coach? Del Potro talks about his future

The Argentine speaks on the Mutua Madrid Open Twitch channel

April 28, 2024

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Juan Martín del Potro won 22 titles on the ATP Tour.
By Staff

Until very recently, Juan Martín del Potro did not want to have any contact with tennis, perhaps avoiding reliving the pain of having left this sport accidentally. It didn’t even bother him to watch games on television, as if avoiding the thought that he could be there competing if the injuries hadn’t affected him. But the wound is getting healthier, and as a result, the Argentine, 2009 US Open champion, has been more involved in tennis in recent months.

“My retirement was a decision made by my body, something forced and not something prepared or worked on with a psychologist and a team,” Delpo explained this Sunday during his visit to the Mutua Madrid Open. “I’m just now coming to events and feeling good. At first it was difficult for me and I wanted to do my obligations and leave. But in Miami I had an event and then I stayed to see Carlitos [Alcaraz] and I enjoyed it.”

Shortly after the Masters 1000 in Florida he was seen promoting Roland Garros juniors as an ambassador. And now his time at the Caja Mágica confirms his gradual return to a sport that saw him be No. 3 in the PIF ATP Rankings (in 2018). Although it is still not easy for the 35-year-old right-hander.

“Today we play very powerfully, very strong. A bit like my game. Then I say, ‘Maybe today I can still fit in.’ But well, at the end of the day, I say that the body is not there,” says ‘DelPo’, increasingly convinced that he has finished his time as a tennis player and aware of his legacy. “Having won a Grand Slam in the best era of the Big-3 has a special value. I didn’t win many big tournaments, but I always fought them, and for me that’s enough.”

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The Argentine, who played his last professional match in Buenos Aires 2022 against Federico Delbonis, tried unsuccessfully to return to the competition in 2023. But he already seems to have reconciled with the fact that he has turned the page in his life. In fact, he does not rule out a farewell match, pending for most of his fans. “There are some rumors, but I want to do it in good conditions,” he explains.

But if his chapter as a player is more than closed, what role does the Tandil native aim for in the future?

“I’m not sure if I will be a coach. I enjoy being at home more, not having the obligation of routine and responding to certain things like trips. I like more to be around young people and transmit things that I learned to the younger ones. I’m finding myself more comfortable in this position, but that’s now, in the next few years maybe everything will change a little, or some player wants something else and I’ll think about it.”

Although he doesn’t know who he would like to coach, ‘DelPo’ is clear about his current favorite type of player. “Carlitos [Alcaraz] I love it,” he says, “He has a freshness when walking around the court that makes him look like a 30-year-old guy, with 10 on the circuit. He is going to do very well in tennis. With Sinner he is going to create a rivalry that tennis constantly had. First it was Agassi-Sampras, then Rafa-Roger, now it will be the two of them.”

“They are at a higher level than the rest,” he points out about the Italian and the Spaniard, the top candidates for the title in this Mutua Madrid Open.


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