Two tennis greats suffer challenging defeats in late career returns


Go back five years, and tennis stars Andy Murray and Juan Martin Del Potro were two of the most exciting names on the ATP circuit. However, a combination of off-the-court issues have seen both players fade to relative obscurity compared to the contemporaries who they fought with for major honours within tennis. Murray, who has fought back from a retirement-level injury to still compete at a decent level, suffered a controversial defeat in his most recent match-up.

Del Potro, meanwhile, spent a whopping two and a half years away from the tennis court. His first match in that timeline has seen him lost, though, as he lost to Federico Delbonis. Though Delbonis is considered a friend and an ally, he was unable to overcome his compatriot and went down 6-1, 6-3. He broke the serve of his opponent, but was unable to make any more progress at the Argentina Open.

This was Del Potro’s first match-up since he played at the Queen’s event in June 2019. There, he suffered a shocking knee injury that has taken over two years to properly recover from. A clearly emotional Del Potro put in a good showing, but it will take some time – if ever – for the Argentine to get back to anything like the level he once showed as one of the elite tennis players of his era.

During the second set, a beautiful moment took place as Del Potro had to stop playing to compose himself. The crowd sang his name with gusto, and it was enough to send the Argentine great into an emotional state. Hopefully, he can return to his best in the near future.

Murray loses in controversial circumstances

Meanwhile, Murray faced his own battles on the court as he went down to Felix Auger-Aliassime at the Rotterdam Open. The Scot was taking part in the tournament and had impressed in parts of the match, though the clear quality of the younger star was hard to keep pace with.

The strange moment in the match came, though, when Murray had to deny reports that he was cheating. The shocking moment seen the Scot, who lost in straight sets across a 97-minute match, have to see the match point played again. the younger Auger-Aliassime hit the game winning shot, but Murray’s hat was blown off his head in the middle of the two match points.

Murray was seen telling his opponent “I’m not trying to cheat” in what was a strangely controversial moment within the match. Eventually, though, the match continued, and the youngster managed to overcome the wily veteran and finish the match.

For Murray, it was a chastening defeat against a 21-year-old who looks like he might be one of the future stars of the entire sport. A 6-3, 6-4 success ended up seeing Murray crash out. Now, he will hope that compatriot Cam Norrie can do the UK justice as he will face off against the young star in the next round in Rotterdam.

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