World No.1 and top seed Novak Djokovic and 2009 US open champ Juan Martin del Potro both walked off centre court on Sunday in tears – one in agony, the other in elation. The Argentine, who knocked out Djoker, was overwhelmed with emotions and described the match as an “amazing one” for him.
Juan Martin del Potro, who won the US Open back in 2009, has been in the wilderness since, and after three left wrist surgeries in the past two years, he reached Rio as World No.145.
The favourite and World No.1 ended up on the losing side of the 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-2) scoreline, while the Argentinian had ended up on the other side.
“Amazing, amazing match for me,” del Potro said, reported the AFP. “I didn’t expect to beat Novak
"This victory is bigger than last time because I know how tough it was to come back from three surgeries," he said.
"Tonight I played one of the best matches of my career."
"Novak is a great champion on and off the court. He's a great guy and he said some kind words to me at the end."
Although emotions were running high, Djokovic regained his composure to congratulate his opponent on his win.
"Delpo was the better player and he deserved to win. That's sport," said Djokovic whose Olympic singles record is stalled at a bronze from Beijing in 2008, reported AFP.
"In the decisive moments, he just came up with some extraordinary tennis and I have to congratulate him.
"It's very sad and disappointing to go out of the tournament this early but I am glad that a good friend of mine, who has struggled with injuries, has won."
"It's one of the toughest losses in my life and career. The wounds are still fresh."
Del Potro will next face João Sousa of Portugal in the second round match on Monday.