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Juan Martin Del Potro: The Legitimate Threat to the Big 4?
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Reads: 255, Comments: 0
Former World No.4 Juan Martin Del Potro is accustomed to the speculation surrounding him about his ability to break into the Top-5 and probably the Big-4 again. But the ‘Tower of Tandil’ as he is better known has all the artillery to beat the best in the business on his day. It is because of the variations in his game that the Argentine lifted his first major at the tender age of 21, defeating Roger Federer at the US Open in 2009.
The moment people started tagging him as the ‘Next Big Thing’, the injury bug followed soon as he found himself with a troubled wrist that forced him to skip most of the 2010 season. The injury was so serious that he only ended up playing 3 tournaments in 2010. But as we all know Del Potro is a fighter and it was his sheer hard work and determination that got him back amongst the Top-10, a place he truly deserves to stay.
Having won a title in Rotterdam this year, the Argentine came as a potential threat for the Big-4 coming into the Indian Wells Masters. Seeded seventh for the event, he caught everyone’s attention by reaching the finals, eventually falling to the Nadal in three tight sets. Though it was Rafael Nadal
who everyone was talking about after the finals, the Argentine’s run to the finals was worth applauding.
Del Potro’s amazing run to the finals included two impressive victories over players ranked in the Top-
3, both of who have a better win-loss record against him. He came back from a set down to beat the reigning US Open (Andy Murray) and Australian Open (Novak Djokovic) Champions in the quarters and semis respectively. Though he lost the finals to Rafa, Del Potro remained calm throughout the match and expressed his emotions and this is a mark of a good player!
Unlike the other players behind the Top-4 who face troubles to overcome their demons, Del Potro has a poise about himself that has helped him remain calm in the most trying times. The respect he has for fellow players has often come out in form of appreciation for others and this sense of humility has helped him command respect not demand it!
Not many players have ever taken Del Potro’s abilities for granted and have never judged or counted out the Argentine on the basis of his ranking. Del Potro may have been on the back foot after his injury but like all champions do, the Argentine has climbed back the ranks and is giving stiff competitions to the big guns at tournaments that matter.
Though he is yet to crack the Top-5 mark since returning to tennis after that ill-timed injury, his desire to reach there would only transform him into a more unpredictable player to beat, something that he can capitalize on in the near future. If his ground strokes find the range he looks for, his opponent is definitely in for a hard time. Delpotro also has the knack to mix his games from the aggressor at the back of the court to the player with soft hands at the net.
He is yet to win an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Event and it is this constant pursuit towards this goal that gives his purpose the extra push he requires. With 8 more Masters Events scheduled in the calendar and the latest one as early as this week, this target doesn’t seem unrealistic counting on his present form.
With a rise amongst the Top-5 very achievable by the end of this year, it would be enticing to see how the Tall Tower of Tandil fares in the remaining season!
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