Former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro has withdrawn from next week’s Rio Open, perhaps bringing down the curtain on a once-promising career that has been blighted by serious injuries.

Del Potro, who lost on his comeback in the first round of the Argentina Open on Tuesday, had earlier said that the events in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro would possibly be his last.

“Juan Martin del Potro unfortunately will not compete in the Rio Open. It’s always been a dream to have him with us and we’ve come very close to being able to do it,” organisers of the ATP 500 Rio Open said in a statement on Friday.

“We want much success in the future and know that the doors of Rio Open will always be open to you.”

The 33-year-old Argentine, who won at Flushing Meadows in 2009 when beating Roger Federer in the final, has been troubled by a knee injury in recent years, with the loss to compatriot Federico Delbonis this week his first outing since March 2019.

Asked if fans would see him play again, a teary Del Potro said: “I don’t know if it’s going to happen, because the pain in my knee is very high.

“But I will keep doing a big effort to fix the knee, and if I get that, maybe I will have another chance to play.”

After turning professional in 2005, Del Potro won 22 titles and also made the semi-finals at the French Open and Wimbledon.