Juan Martin del Potro got a rude send-off on his way out of Paris on Saturday.
The fifth-ranked Argentine was leaving the Paris Masters, where he fell to Roger Federer in Friday’s quarterfinals, when he stopped to sign an autograph at the city’s Gare du Nord train station. As he did so, thieves apparently stole his suitcase.
"I was finishing the check-in and was asked for an autograph," del Potro said in a statement. "I turned around to sign it and within 20 seconds, it was stolen.
Among the items stolen: his passport, money, and a rosary blessed by Pope Francis, the last of which was most significant to him.
"That’s important for me but the other things doesn’t matter," he said.
Despite the stressful scene, del Potro took it in stride.
"It’s over, I’m safe, so it’s nice," he said.
The ATP finals begin Monday. Del Potro — who was runner-up in 2009 — will be competing in the tougher Group B, which features Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Richard Gasquet. Group A consists of Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and Stanislas Wawrinka.