Juan Martin Del Potro scored one of the biggest upsets of the 2016 Olympics on Sunday with a stunning victory over tennis’ No. 1 player. But he has his country’s handball team to thank for even making it to that match in the first place.
According to Del Potro’s publicist, Jorge Viale, the Argentinian tennis player’s day began ominously, when he got stuck in an elevator in Rio de Janeiro’s Olympic Village for a full 40 minutes without cell service.
So, how did he escape? With a little help from “Los Gladiadores,” Argentina’s Olympic handball team, who came to his rescue and freed him from captivity.
Handball player Fede Pizarro tweeted out a photo of he and another teammate with Del Potro after the rescue.
The efforts of his compatriots set the stage for Del Potro, who shocked Novak Djokovic in the opening round of the men’s singles tournament with a 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2) victory.
Del Potro plays another match Monday and has a long way to go to win a medal, but if he earns some hardware, he owes his handball brethren some special thanks.
Thumbnail photo via Jeff Swinger/USA TODAY Sports Images
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