Del Potro: 'One of my best matches'

After winning the US Open in 2009, del Potro hasn't been consistent on the ATP tour because of injuries. So, the Argentenian was all the more pleased with his effort.

Juan Martin Del Potro - cropped

Juan Martin del Potro played one of his best matches to upset Novak Djokovic.

Olympics hasn't been kind to the top-ranked players in men's tennis. Andre Agassi, in the 1996 Atlanta Games, was the last world's leading man to win the the gold medal. But Novak Djokovic wasn't expected to lose on the first round against an injury-ravaged Juan Martin del Potro.

But as Djokovic said after the loss, "Delpo was the better player and he deserved to win. That's sport."

After winning the US Open in 2009, del Potro hasn't been consistent on the ATP tour because of injuries. So, the Argentenian was all the more pleased with his effort.

"It was an amazing match for me. I didn't expect to win tonight as I know the situation with my wrist," said the 27-year-old del Potro who hit more than 40 winners, virtually all off his forehand.

"My forehand was great and I hit it as hard as I could."

Del Potro, now ranked at 145 in the world after being number four in 2010, said Sunday's win was more special than his victory at the 2012 Games.

He had his first operation in 2010 but more followed in 2014 and 2015 when he played just six events.

"This victory is bigger than last time because I know how tough it was to come back from three surgeries," he said, "Tonight I played one of the best matches of my career."

"Novak is a great champion on and off the court. He's a great guy and he said some kind words to me at the end."

Djokovic, who completed the career Grand Slam at the French Open in June, admitted the loss was tough to take.

"It's very sad and disappointing to go out of the tournament this early but I am glad that a good friend of mine, who has struggled with injuries, has won."

"In the decisive moments, he just came up with some extraordinary tennis and I have to congratulate him. It's one of the toughest losses in my life and career. The wounds are still fresh."