Grand slam champion Juan Martin del Potro is considering an imminent retirement from tennis, saying recurring injuries mean two tournaments in Argentina and Brazil this month will “possibly” be his last.
“This is one of the hardest messages I’ve ever had to face up to and communicate,” del Potro told reporters in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
“Everyone knows and hopes that I return to tennis.
“Possibly it won’t be like that and that it will be more of a farewell than a return.”
Del Potro, winner of the 2009 US Open among 22 singles titles, has had a career blighted by wrist and knee injuries.
The former world No.3 last played a tournament match in June 2019 at Queens in London.
He injured his knee and has been struggling to regain full fitness since.
“The knee has been a nightmare. I’ve been trying alternatives and ways to resolve it for years and today I just can’t manage it,” he said.
“I never imagined retiring from tennis anywhere other than out there on the court.”
Del Potro has committed to playing the Buenos Aires Open and the Rio de Janeiro Open, both of which take place on clay this month.
He will face countryman Federico Delbonis in his first match in Buenos Aires on Tuesday.
The Rio de Janeiro Open begins on February 12.