Del Potro ruins Djokovic’s Rio dream
Originally published on 08/08/16 00:00
The world No.1 – who was bidding to join Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal as only the third man in history to win all four majors and Olympic singles gold – left the court in tears after his 7-6(4) 7-6(2) defeat to the former US Open champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medallist in the first round.
“Delpo was the better player and he just deserved to win,” said Djokovic, who lost to Del Potro in the bronze medal match at London 2012. “That's sport. He just came up with some extraordinary tennis and I have to congratulate him.
“No doubt this is one of the toughest losses in my life and in my career. It's not easy to handle, especially now, just after the wounds are still fresh. But, you know, you have to deal with it. It's not the first or the last time I am losing a tennis match. But the Olympic Games is completely different.”
It was a remarkable victory for 2009 US Open champion Del Potro, who is still on the comeback trail following a series of chronic wrist injuries.
“It was a wonderful evening from the beginning,” said the world No.141. “Since the draw, the anticipation was very high and I believe I did what I planned for the match. I didn't expect to beat him. I'm surprised with the level I showed. After all the effort I've put in to get back to playing tennis, I've defeated the No.1.”