Delray Beach Contenders: Is Delpo the Favourite?

Juan Martin Del Potro - Delray Beach

The Delray Beach Open is already underway and the early favourites are setting out their stall. The ATP 250 tournament only has 32 participants, but still has some of the worlds best battling it out. See below which players are in contention to be holding the title at the end of the week.

Jack Sock

The American is on home turf and is the number one seed. He battled past qualifier John-Patrick Smith 6-4 6-4 in the first round and has wildcard Reilly Opelka in the second. The world #8 has played poorly so far this season but at Delray Beach, he has shown improvements.

A first-round exit in Auckland to world #64, Peter Gojowczyk, was followed by similar disappointment in the first round of the Australian Open. Yuichi Sugita got the better of Sock in four sets to leave the 25-year-old to lick his wounds.

Sock has the game to make the final but is in poor form at the moment.
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Milos Raonic

The 27-year-old was seen at the next best thing a few years back. However, he has slipped down the rankings of late and is now world #32. With a career high of #3 and £15million worth of prize money, the reward of winning Delray Beach is not financial, but to get back to his best.

Much like Jack Sock, the Canadian has started the season with two losses. In Brisbane, he was the victim of a shock result to Alex De Minaur in straight sets. On the big stage in Melbourne, Raonic again lost to a lesser opponent, Lukas Lacko in a tight four-set match.

Even though Delray Beach is no Australian Open, it is positive that the powerhouse got through the first round. Steve Johnson is up next and will show whether Raonic has the credentials to go all the way.
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Hyeon Chung

An outsider to many at Delray Beach, but the eighth seed is an upcoming star. From three tournaments so far the 21-year-old has won eight times and shown glimpses he is on the rise. In Brisbane, he made the second round, losing to Kyle Edmund. A week later in Auckland, Chung overcame world #16 John Isner in three sets, before David Ferrer’s experience was a set too many.

However, what most at Delray Beach will be wary of is Chung’s talent shown at the Australian Open. The South Korean reached the Grand Slam semi-final beating notable players on the way. No more so than a fourth-round victory over 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic.

It was the likes of Mischa and Alexander Zverev, and Danil Medvedev falling on Chung’s route to the semi-final that really showed he has the talent to win at Delray Beach.
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Juan Martin Del Potro

The 6’6 giant had a superb latter end of the 2017 season and has continued that form into 2018. The second seed beat the experienced Jeremy Chardy in the first round. His last 16 opponent is Frances Tiafoe, who the Argentian beat at the Australian Open.

His form coming into Delray Beach has been impressive. The 2012 US Open champion reached the final of the Auckland Open, losing to world #21 Roberto Bautista Agut in three sets. However, his journey to the final showed Del Potro is back to his best. Denis Shapovalov, Karen Khachanov and David Ferrer all fell at the giant’s feet.

At the Australian Open, Del Potro made it the last 32. Losing to Tomas Berdych in straight sets brought an early exit, but gave the world#10 time to rest his wrist before entering Delray Beach.

Despite being the number two seed Del Potro has a tough route to the final, however, if anyone can take the Delray Beach title that way it is Juan Martin Del Potro, as he did in 2011.

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