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Argentine Tennis Star • Juan Martin del Potro • Indian Wells 2018

INDIAN WELLS—Olympic fire fueled Juan Martin del Potro’s successful comeback.

 

Del Potro said his inspired run to the 2016 Olympic gold-medal match infused him with the confidence propelling his comeback.

 

In January del Potro, who missed 13 months after his third wrist surgery, returned to Top 10 for first time since August 4th, 2014. It’s a long way from his struggles in the early stages of his 2016 comeback.

 

“Well, during the first month of 2016, I was playing with my protection ranking, and I was losing very early in every tournament, and I couldn’t hit my backhands,” del Potro said. “That moment was horrible for me, because I don’t want to feel bad on court as I did in that time.”

 

Staggering into the 2016 Rio Olympics ranked No. 141, del Potro caught fire shocking world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and then fifth-ranked Rafael Nadal to reach the gold-medal match where he battled Andy Murray in a four-hour thriller before the Scot prevailed, successfully defending his gold medal.

 

That spirited silver-medal run charged his comeback.

 

“And I got lucky to play the Olympics game, because after that I start to play much better,” del Potro told the media in Indian Wells. “I starting to get confidence from myself, from the crowd, from the people, and everybody give me a lot of energy to keep trying. Right after the Olympics game, my mind changed a lot. My game change also. I think I start to feel as I been few years ago.”

 

Del Potro will play 31st-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber for a spot in the Indian Wells final four.

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