LONDON: Juan Martin del Potro sent Swiss fourth seed Stan Wawrinka crashing out of Wimbledon yesterday with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 victory in the second round.
The world number 165 from Argentina, who was a semi-finalist in 2013 in what was his last appearance at the tournament, next faces either French 32nd seed Lucas Pouille or Donald Young of the United States.
Del Potro is playing in his first major since the Australian Open in 2014 after undergoing three wrist surgeries.
“It’s an amazing sensation for me at the moment. I beat one of the guys who is playing great tennis at the moment. I couldn’t expect this victory today but I think I played much better after the first set and I really enjoyed the crowd. I was so happy on court,” said 27-year-old Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion.
In January 2010, Del Potro’s ranking had soared to world number four and he was at the peak of his powers before a series of injuries derailed his blossoming career. And now that he has finally overcome those health issues, he can’t help but feel grateful.
“After my third surgery I have been trying to play tennis again it’s like my second or third career in my short life,” said the Argentine. “I was really sad at home for the last two years, now I am enjoying all these things. And my hands are shaking which is a great sensation for me. I feel alive.”
In the post-match interview, he also thanked his fans for sticking with him through thick and thin. “I like to share moments with the crowd. They support me on every single point and that’s why I keep fighting in every single set. I couldn’t expect to be in the third round of Wimbledon I’m very excited to go far in the tournament,” added Del Potro.