Ahead of his blockbuster first round match against the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Rio Olympics 2016, former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro had an inauspicious start to his Sunday. The Argentine, who won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Games, was trapped in an elevator at the Olympic village for as long as 40 minutes!
It was a power outage that inflicted such a woe on the 27-year-old on his biggest day at the Games. Del Potro could not even call for help as he had no signal on his mobile phone at that time. His misery only ended when he was rescued by members of Argentina’s handball team, as shared by Del Potro’s press manager, Jorge Viale.
This is how Delpo started the day: trapped in an elevator at the Olympic village for 40 minutes. pic.twitter.com/EFNmOKqIwE— Jorge Viale (@jorgeviale) August 7, 2016
He was rescued by members of the Arg handball team.— Jorge Viale (@jorgeviale) August 7, 2016
The Rio Games facilities had already come under severe criticism from several quarters with the Chinese even going to the extent of branding it the ‘worst ever’ Games. Countless images of unfinished work in the residential area were swirling in the social media as the accommodation looked highly unprepared and shoddy when the athletes started trooping in.
Del Potro is not the first one to suffer because of powercut. The Australian contingent, consisting of 700 members, had refused to stay at the village unless electrical and plumbing issues were sorted out.
It is most unfortunate that the affable Argentine, lovingly called the Tower of Tandil, had to face such an ordeal on a match day. He has already been through a lot in the last couple of years and his activity on the ATP Tour was limited to just six tournaments due to two wrist surgeries.
Del Potro made his comeback only in February this year and even though, he has shown glimpses of his dazzling play, he has been cautious about using his backhand. He is currently ranked 145th and has reached two semi-finals this season.
It would definitely take a colossal effort from him to send the mighty Djokovic packing. Besides, the Serb has a score to settle having lost the crucial bronze medal play-off to this very player at London.
Having said that, Del Potro can indeed put up some splendid resistance to the top seed and there’s no doubt that this is the match that all tennis fans are eagerly waiting for.