Juan Martin Del Potro: I’m Very Sad For Losing The US Open Title, But Novak Deserved It
by Tom Gainey | September 10th, 2018, 11:09 am

For the first time in his career, Juan Martin del Potro tasted defeat in a Grand Slam final. Of course, Del Potro was playing in just his second Slam final – his first in nine years – yesterday falling to Novak Djokovic in straight sets at the US Open, but it still was a painful defeat.

After four wrist surgeries, near retirement, other injuries, coaching changes, Del Potro should be proud to return to championship tennis. And the 29-year-old was.

Here’s what he told the press:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. We saw the tears on the court. You worked so hard to get here. Talk about the thoughts on the match.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, it could be the worst part of the day, talk with you at this moment (smiling).

No, no, to be honest, I was crying till now. I’m very sad for being a loser today. But Novak deserved to take the trophy. He played a great match, very smart game. I had my opportunities during second and third set.

But I was playing almost at the limit all the time, looking for winners with my forehands, backhands, and I couldn’t make it because Novak were there every time.

He’s a great champion. So I’m glad for him.

Q. Novak and Rafa and Roger have won more than 50 majors. Talk about the challenge of playing in this era against three of the greatest players of all time for you and everyone else.

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, of course, is a big challenge to take these kind of tournaments to them. But also I think we are proud to be close to these legends. I’ve been during all my career learning with Novak, Roger, Rafa, seeing them winning these events very often. It’s amazing. I don’t feel sad that I couldn’t win Grand Slams because of them. I am just one of the guys that have lucky to be in the same era as them, and it’s great.

Q. Everyone is very happy to see you back. How long can we expect to see you? What is the condition of your wrist? Do you have pain? Do you feel yourself open field for the next year, two, three years to keep playing the way you are now?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, hopefully yes. I’m feeling good. My wrist is responding good, because I’ve been playing a lot of matches in these two weeks. I feel good with my two-handed backhands, as well. I will keep playing tennis for few more years. I don’t know when will be my last tournament in this career, but I’m exciting to keep surprising myself doing things like this. I’m very motivate to keep trying to win these titles.

Q. No pain?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, not at the moment.

Q. Will you think about those three breakpoints you had to go up 5-3? You missed a not-so-difficult shot.

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: That’s what I say, that I have my chances in the second set. I take the risk with my forehands. I’ve been doing that all the match. Sometimes it go in, and sometimes I miss it. But it’s the only way to beat these kind of players. You have to be a perfect game during more than three hours. Sometimes you couldn’t make it.

But my mistakes was because the level of Novak. He plays really well.

Q. The court was a little slow?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: A little bit, yeah.

Q. Last night there was great drama here. Do you think there is a double standard in officiating, that the women are treated differently than the men by chair umpires, officials?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Whew (smiling).

Q. I’m sorry.

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: I don’t know what’s can I say about that. I was sad for Serena because she’s a great champion. She gives to this sport a lot. But Naomi deserved to win. She’s a great champion.

Of course, the final was not the final that everybody expected. But I’m agree that the girls has to be treated as the mens, win the same money. They made big effort to play these kind of tournaments, and they deserve to has the same treatment as we have.

Basically Serena is one of the greatest players of the history. I wish all the best to her because she’s so nice. We want to watch her keep playing the slams.

Q. Some of the shots you hit tonight, did you feel like they would have been winners against other players? How hard is it to hit the ball when it keeps coming back at you?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, I think so, for sure. Novak is too fast. His defense are pretty good. But I expected the game like we played today. When you have chances against the top guys, and you couldn’t make it, then they take advantage of the game. It’s really difficult to beat a player like Novak.

But I did a big effort also, and I’m proud for that.

Q. What is it like to stand on the floor and have 20,000 people singing “Ole, DelPo”?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: What I say on the stage, you can lose or win a trophy, but the love from the crowd, it’s could be even bigger than the tournament. That’s what I got from them. It will be in the heart for the rest of the life.

Q. Despite the disappointment, do you think you will be able to enjoy remembering this final, enjoy the moment during the trophy ceremony, or was disappointment taking over everything?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No, I enjoyed everything. The worst part to me is the chances that I couldn’t make it of the game. But then when you see a friend holding the trophy, it’s good, too. I’m glad that Novak is the champion. He deserve to be.

I will come back next year trying to take my trophy in my favorite tournament once again.

Q. (Question about being one of the greatest athletes in Argentina.)

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, Argentina has a big idols in soccer, in different sport. I’m just doing my job, trying to be an example for the kids, to teach them that you have to do effort to get your goals in your life.

But that’s what I think for the future. I will try to keeping in trouble these guys, playing in the next tournaments, and we’ll see.

Q. Your first Grand Slam final in a long time. How is this going to help you for the future? Do you think you’re going to take a lot from this going forward?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I think I did a good tournament, but this is a tough lose for me. I’m really sad to lose the final in this tournament because I had too much passion playing the final, trying to win the title again.

But I think it’s time to take a break, to see how my body feels for the future, and then be ready for the next one.

Q. You mentioned Djokovic’s speed. From a player’s perspective, what makes him so good? Do you think he could surpass Roger and Rafa in terms of slams?

JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Of course he can. He has 14 already. He won two Grand Slam in one year. He’s healthy. He has a great team working with him. Hopefully him, Rafa, Roger is still fighting for Grand Slam, because is so nice to watch them fighting for the history.

I mean, we just do what we can against them. But Novak has everything to make records in this sport.

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21 Comments for Juan Martin Del Potro: I’m Very Sad For Losing The US Open Title, But Novak Deserved It

Giles Says:

Oh shut up Delpo!

Mystic - Willow Says:

I Agree, no disrespect to Chofer or El-Matador, but the woe is me attitude is pathetic, your not hearing this from Murray, Stan, Federer or Nadal, just feeling sorry for himself, be sad but for gods sake dont wallow ….

Margot Says:

Dearie me, he’s allowed to be sad, allowed to express his feelings, isn’t he? He’s not a buttoned up, stiff upper lipped proddie, thank goodness!

Mystic - Willow Says:

Margot true, but i just think he needs to grow a pair of balls ….

Margot Says:

^ Why? Because it is somehow unmanly to show your feelings after a tough defeat? I myself think the opposite.

Mystic - Willow Says:

Okay Margot fair enough ….

Andy Mira Says:

I agree with M….We should realize that this is the 1st time DelPo been in a final in slam in 9 years…and he knows this is his best chance to add his 2nd…and he failed…with his history of injury,he of all people know that chances may not come as easy for him unlike other players,for me all the more reason for him to cry….

Wog Boy Says:

AM, thanks for your words from another thread, much appreciated.
Looks like few can’t forgive Delpo for not beating Nole, two closet Nole fans.
Delpo and Nole are genuine friends and Delpo stressed that few times same as Nole, some people see that as a sin, that’s why he had mixed emotions after the match, happy for Nole and sad for himself, Delpo is a good man.
Nole was on a mission at USO, the only people I feared were few young guns since Nole is yet to master how to beat them (Kyrgios, Zverev, occasionally Thiem…), nobody else could stop him, not even 37 years old who smartly tanked his match.

chofer Says:


No need to apologize for me. I don’t think Juan Martin really “felt” the match. I’m not saying he could win it. I’m saying he didn’t prepare it properly. Not strategically, by wanting to rip off the ball as oppose to find wide angles and not deliverying the ball to Nole’s hands most of the time. Not mentally. Too much “amor” for Novak.

I am critical of Delpo when I think I am right. Because I know him well.

He wasted a chance in the second set by not being bolder. Novak was not serving that well in that stretch. Delpo still handled the returns to his hands.

He “looked” the effort. He didn’t earn it. 4 sets would have leave me more satisfied. More “I’m forgetting I like you win titles, SO DO I”

Am I making myself clear?

Between Serenas tirade and Delpo’s passivity in BP chances there’s a whole spectrum in between.

I don’t think he did his best effort. Perhaps he knew it. Perhaps that was the reason he teared up a little.

Andy Mira Says:

Hehe….Your welcome WB!….Yeah!DelPo is a good man….no wonder many loves him!…I am so sad to see him heartbroken like that….But.it’s just not meant for him this time…Nole was just so so good…Very impossible to topple him when he’s in this mood…It’s impossible too to stay with him for2,3 hrs mentally & physically…

Yeah!….Agree with u bout young guns WB…players like Shapovalov,Kyrgios,Tsitsipas who already defeat Nole in Toronto…this young guns r fearless….But when Nole this confidence,i doubted their chances too WB…They got huge serve,big groundstrokes etc….but we know they still lack mental strength that Nole have….Maybe Tsitsipas a little stand out from the rest….But i’ll still go with current Nole…

Andy Mira Says:

I agree with u Chofer!….I hope they will meet again…with DelPo not this ‘overwhelmed’….so,we can have another epic….like in the 2016 Olympics…GOD!that match was AWESOME!!…Heartbroken for Nole too in that match!

El__matador Says:

Agreed..nole was creating all the angles,delpo was soo passive..even when he was a set & a break down,i was confident that he would come back..but alas..delpo rarely loses without fight in these high voltage slam matches against the big 4..but nole was too good..if nole can keep his focus & fitness,he surely has a shot at deathroaning both fedal to be the undisputed GOAT..
I was just sad for the crowd who gave delpo great support & trying hard to inspire him to make a come back..but not to be..

Mystic - Willow Says:

Novak deserved to win the match hes an amazing player, i gave out my congrats to all his fans on the other thread, which seemed to fall on deaf ears, to be honest i dont want to engage in personal war fare with other posters, this is tennis thats all theres enough hatred going on in the real world, without bringing it into sport, i would offer an olive branch as i have done in the past only to have it wrapped around my head, all i ever wanted was a competitive final which we didnt get, and for Delpo to show a bit of spine and backbone ….

Mystic - Willow Says:

Chofer thanks for the reply, you got it ….

Mystic - Willow Says:

Dont personally want to see more matches between these two players, if this is the way this none rivalry rivalry is heading, as pointless as Serena / Sharapova matches ….

chris ford1 Says:

JMD actually WANTS more opportunities to play Nadal and Djokovic and Murray and Fed, if Federer is still competitive going forward. Unlike Slam count-obsessed fans – JDM wants to play the best and is happy the Big 4 exist even if they cost him Slams. He said he is far happier they are in his era than if they were not around because he has become a better player through their examples and going to war with them on court. He has beaten all 4 at times, with several classic matches played with each – win or lose.

Van Persie Says:

Was not the greatest final ever, but it was a good match. The score does not tell very much.
Ok, the courts were so fast this year, so DelPo was desavantaged, but this might be good news for him, since he managed to reach the final on a slower court. He might have a better chance at AO19 an I wish him that (if he does not play against Nole, of course)

Daniel Says:

Any new match can change the outcome of a rivalry. Many thought DelPo wouldn’t have any chance against Nadal afte rlast 3 Slams losses and he won (even tough Nadla injured himself during the match).

Same with Fedal rivalry. If anyone in 2015 would tell that after 23-10 Fed would win next 5, people would laugh hard. That was more impossible thingking than the 3 Slams Fed won after.

So, any new match poses a potential shift. And DelPo did beat Djoko in Olympics 2016 when he was nowhere near the player he is today, Novak also feeling hurt at that time. Its a bad match up for him but anythign can happen.

Mystic - Willow Says:

I Dont think Delpo would give a toss if he played some unranked Japanese player if it meant him winning another GS, its the title you win not the person you play ….

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