It has been a long, hard struggle for the tall Argentinian, who is known as the “Tower of Tandil.” Since Juan Martin Del Potro‘s sole triumph at the 2009 US Open, he has had more setbacks than anyone. He went under the knife four times in total; three surgeries on the left wrist and a singular surgery on the right in 2010.
In the space of a year, Del Potro has risen from outside the Top 1000 in the ATP rankings to just outside the Top 60, in one of the most remarkable returns to the game that has been seen in professional sport.
Juan Martin Del Potro can win Majors Again
The Argentinian made many brief returns to tennis, but still struggled to hit over his backhand because of the extent of the pain he was experiencing with the left wrist, but now it looks like he has unfinished business and has his sights set on another memorable victory.
Del Potro has bulldozed through his US Open opponents. He has won all four matches without dropping a set and now finds himself in a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time since Wimbledon 2013, where he made the semifinals that year.
Del Potro now faces No.3 seed Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarterfinals, and he may have to play three Grand Slam winners back-to-back-to-back in order to claim his second major trophy. If anyone can do it Del Potro can.
Keys to Success
There are many valid reasons that suggest why Del Potro can win another Grand Slam. The most glaringly obvious factor that will dictate whether Del Potro can seize another Slam is the forehand shot. Many players can prepare for the velocity, brutality, and sheer force of that shot. It is one thing preparing for it and another actually getting a racquet on the ball.
Another factor is the fact that Del Potro really is playing with reckless abandon right now. He is not worrying about the consequence of his tennis. Del Potro is not overthinking each shot he is playing. This is a massive difference to his brief return in 2014. In that year, it looked as if Del Potro was questioning every single backhand he was playing as he tried to determine whether he was playing without any serious pain–now he is coming to terms with a positive second career.
Del Potro beat two of the very best en route to an silver medal at the Olympics. He outplayed World No.1 Novak Djokovic in the first round and outlasted Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. Many expected a “tired” Del Potro to fold in the gold medal match. However, he still managed to push Andy Murray to a four-hour epic. This shows that Del Potro is close to producing something special again.
The 2009 US Open champion refuses to admit that his current form is better than the 2009 form that contributed to a 6-2 6-2 6-2 hammering of Nadal in the semifinal and a brilliant display of first strike tennis against Roger Federer in the final.
The only question mark for the Argentinian was his lack of matchplay in best-of-five matches. That query was put to bed in the gold medal match against Murray. Also, he acknowledges that he has to conserve his energy in the first week in order to mount an attack on the top players in the second week. He has done that phenomenally in Flushing Meadows.
Lastly, the most appealing factor that illustrates Del Potro is capable of reigning supreme at a Grand Slam again, is the fact that he still has that self-confidence and belief against the very best. This is startling given the amount of setbacks that he has experienced. He questioned whether he would ever return to a tennis court ever again.
Some tennis aficionados remain skeptical of whether the next generation of Nick Kyrgios, Dominic Thiem, and Alexander Zverev can compete with the current elite players on a regular basis. One thing that’s for sure is that Del Potro is playing like he has never left us.