Tournament Director Michael Luevano announced that Juan Martin Del Potro has been awarded the first wild card to the multi-award winning Shanghai Rolex Masters. The 2016 championship, to be played at Qi Zhong Stadium, 9 to 16 October, is the event’s eighth anniversary, an important milestone in Chinese culture.
“Juan Martin is highly deserving of this wild card. He has been through a lot with his numerous wrist injuries which denied tennis fans from watching one of the sport’s tremendous players and a wonderful human being,” said Luevano.
“We will be delighted to see Juan Martin back on the courts at Qi Zhong Stadium where he thrilled everyone by reaching the final in 2013.”
The softy spoken Argentine has been plagued by four injuries to his left wrist over recent years but the strength of his determination allowed him to believe that he would always return to the sport he loves. This year his first event back was at Delray Beach where he reached the semi-final.
“I am very happy to be coming back to Shanghai because I have always enjoyed playing there,” Del Potro, winner of the 2009 US Open said. “The last few years have been very difficult and I am taking everything slowly but it is very, very exciting to be playing and I am feeling in a good place and feeling very happy.
“I remember being in the final in Shanghai three years ago, I won against Rafa in the semis and it was a great final against Novak, and how wonderful the people are and the great support they give me. It was great memories and I am looking forward to coming back very much.”
This year, since beginning his comeback he also reached the semis in Stuttgart and the quarters at Munich and at Wimbledon he upset Stan Wawrinka. But it was his run at the Olympic Games in Rio which saw his emotions pour out with some of the most glorious tennis played this year.
He defeated Novak Djokovic in two tiebreakers in the first round and accounted for Rafa Nadal in a three set semi-final before winning the silver medal in a nail-biting four hour plus final against Andy Murray.
Del Potro reached a career high world ranking of four. He owns 18 career titles and has reached another eight finals; he also won the bronze medal at the London Olympics.