INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Juan Martin del Potro hopes to meet Pope Francis, a fellow Argentine, when he plays the Italian Open in Rome in May. The former archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, was the first non-European elected to lead the Catholic church.
“I’m very Catholic, so I like this decision,” Del Potro said after his 6-1, 6-2 fourth-round win over Tommy Haas at the BNP Paribas Open. “For me and for our country and for Argentinian people, it’s so big. Was so impressive for us when they mentioned the new pope and also his name. I think he deserve to be there, so it’s very nice for us.
“We are so proud of him. He’s the first Pope from South America, I think. He’s so big for our own country, also. I wish all the best to him. I think he’s gonna do his work perfect. I wish the best for him.”