“I think this is one of the most difficult messages I will ever deliver. I know that people are expecting me to return to tennis, but this may be more of a farewell than a return,” Del Potro told reporters.

“I have strength to go forward but my knee is becoming a nightmare. I have been trying alternative treatments for a number of years, with different doctors and attempts to fix it.

Juan Martin del Potro has announced that he is set to retire from competitive tennis after this year’s Argentina Open.

The former world number three is set to make his comeback from injury at this year’s ATP 250 event after over two and a half years out of action due to a serious knee injury, and he also has a wildcard entry for the upcoming Rio Open.

Del Potro suffered the issue during a Queen’s Club match with Denis Shapovalov in June 2019 and has undergone four surgeries to correct the problem, but the 33-year-old has seemingly confirmed that this tournament will be his last during an emotional press conference.

“But I have still not found a solution. But I never imagined retiring from tennis without having the chance to say goodbye and I can’t imagine a better tournament than Buenos Aires to do it.

“After these weeks we will see what happens with my future, but I am clear that I want to live like a person of 33 years and try to not have pain. It’s a difficult decision, but I wanted to make it clear.”

The current world number 757 has won 22 singles titles on the ATP circuit during his career, with his sole Grand Slam triumph coming at the 2009 US Open.

Del Potro has also made the semi-finals of the French Open and Wimbledon and picked up his most recent trophy at the 2018 Indian Wells Masters.

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