Juan Martin del Potro says his victory over Novak Djokovic in the bronze-medal match at London 2012 counts for little against the world number one at the Rio Olympics, but he is banking on a large Argentinian contingent to help spur him to victory.
Four years ago, Del Potro defeated Djokovic 7-5, 6-4 to earn a place on the podium at the All England Club, but the pair's fortunes have contrasted vastly in the intervening period.
While Djokovic has established himself as the dominant force in the men's game, Del Potro is ranked 145th in the world after a nightmare run with injury. Del Potro faces a daunting Olympics rematch after being drawn against Djokovic in the first round in Rio and he recognises the difficulty of the challenge that awaits him.
"This match is going to be completely different than four years ago. I'm a different person. My game is not as good as I played four years ago," he told a news conference.
"But I'm still looking forward to doing a good match. And if I have a good crowd to support me, it could be interesting. I don't remember [the 2012 match] because it was a long time ago. But he is playing really well now. If I serve hard and my forehand is working in a good way, maybe I have a little chance to win."
With the Olympics heading to South America for the first time, Del Potro is hopeful the Argentina fans will make the trip to neighbouring Brazil to lend their support.
"It is special because we're so close to my country and many friends will come to see my match. It's going to be a good day for me," he added. "There will be many Argentinian fans, it will be very noisy and he does not like to play in these conditions. I will try to use this energy as much as possible."
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