2013 PLAYER NEWS
'Tower Of Tandil' Del Potro Gets Mural
by ATP Staff|
Juan Martin del Potro is nicknamed ‘The Tower Of Tandil’ and will now stand tall in his hometown through a special mural that was created to honour his performance at the London 2012 Olympics.
The mural was produced on Avellaneda Street, just in front of club Independiente, where he began playing tennis and developed his talent. The inscription ‘2012 Olympic Games, Bronze Medal’ can be read at both sides of the image, which depicts the imposing baseliner hitting a two-handed backhand.
A ceremony was held for the unveiling, where Del Potro received a warm ovation. Among those in attendance included Mayor Miguel Lunghi and Marcelo Gomez, head of the tennis academy at Independiente.
“Oh, this will be difficult,” joked Del Potro during his speech. “For me it's a great pride to travel around the world playing tennis and saying I not only come from Argentina, but also from Tandil. To be called 'The Tower of Tandil' is the nicest thing," said the 2009 US Open champion.
“Hopefully one of these kids that are here today may be there along with me in the mural or some other place in town,” Del Potro said after unveiling the mural painted by artist Norma Villabona and her team. “We also have to congratulate the rest of the players from Tandil who do things very well to make the city very proud," said del Potro, who later dug his hands into a cement board. That board will be shown along with the mural.”
Lunghi added, “Close your eyes and imagine a kid who was accompanied to the club by his parents every day to work tirelessly trying to fulfill his dreams. Juan Martin worked hard to get to that place and he is an example that tells us that if you try hard, you can succeed. That should be an example to our youth.”
There is another piece of artwork portraying del Potro in the works. Sculptor Alejo Azcue continues to work on a statue of the World No. 7.