Indian American tennis commentator and son of Indian tennis great Vijay Amritraj, Prakash Amritraj feels that had Juan Martin Del Potro remained fit, he would have reached similar heights as the famous Big Four of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray. Amritraj feels that with Del Potro’s talent he could have been easily the fifth star to dominate the last era of tennis.
The Argentinian tennis star recently hinted at retirement in a press conference. Only 33, Del Potro claimed that he was thinking of calling it a day at the end of the Argentina Open because of persistent injury problems.
It has been a shame that we never really got to see him in full flow for a considerable amount of time as he was marauded with injuries throughout his career. It is a popular opinion among tennis fans that Del Potro would have been a superstar without the injuries. Reiterating the same thought Prakash Amritraj told Tennis Channel, that he is tennis’ great ‘what if’.
“[Juan Martin Del Potro’s impending retirement] has got us all thinking about his entire career and reflecting over all of it. The giant ‘What if?’ of Juan Martin. Instead of the Big-4, it’s likely to have been the Big-5,” Amritraj expressed.
The Indo-American tennis commentator reminisced the 2016 Olympics where Del Potro reached the finals only to end up as the runners up against Andy Murray. The Argentinian apparently missed nine out of the 10 Grand Slams due to injuries. He qualified for the Summer Games because of his protected ranking and had to face Novak Djokovic in the first round.
While people counted him out against Djokovic, Del Potro staged a great upset as he defeated the Serb in straight sets 7-6(4), 7-6(2). Prakash Amritraj feels that it was a highlight of his career as he staged the biggest upset and celebrated with many Argentinian fans present in the stands.
“A memory that really stands out for me is his finals run in the Rio [Olympics] when he won the silver medal. He had a beautiful match taking out Novak Djokovic in the first round, and then kind of looked up at the stars and put the sign of the cross on himself,” Amritraj said. “It was a beautiful moment, and something that I will never forget.”