The 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro has lost in what appeared to be a farewell to his home fans at the Argentina Open tournament.

The 33-year-old, who had not played since 2019 due to injuries, was eliminated by compatriot Federico Delbonis 6-1 6-3 in an emotional match in Buenos Aires.

Del Potro was already in tears as the final game unravelled.

The Argentinian said on Saturday he is likely to retire from professional tennis after playing the Rio Open tournament in Brazil next week.

Once ranked as high as No. 3 in the world, Del Potro told fans after the match his decision was motivated by his health problems.

“This is the moment I hoped would never come,” he said. “I don’t have the strength to go ahead. I gave it all.”

Del Potro has had multiple wrist and knee surgeries in the past decade.