Juan Martin Del Potro will forever be known for his 2009 US Open victory.
The form the Argentine showed back then has begun to appear once again. Despite injury setbacks again this year, the Grand Slam winner managed to finish the year ranked 11th in the world–his highest ranking since August 2014.
Del Potro has produced inspired performances in an encouraging last four months of the ATP tour. A Round of 16 loss to Grigor Dimitrov in the Cincinnati Masters was the catalyst for a superb run in the US Open.
An outstanding five-set victory over Dominic Thiem in Round 16, while battling with injury and two sets down, showed the grit and determination of the player. It also set up another colossal tie between Del Potro and Roger Federer. The former got the upper hand once again at Flushing Meadows in a four set victory. Rafael Nadal was a step too far for the Argentine though, and Del Potro lost in the semifinal of the US Open.
The 6’6″ giant was able to capitalize on his great form, by reaching the semifinals of the Shanghai Masters, before Federer got his revenge, winning in three sets.
The defeat did not halt Del Potro’s run, though, as he grabbed his first title of the season in Stockholm. A straight-set victory over Grigor Dimitrov earned the big server further hope he could reach the level of tennis he once possessed.
A week later in Basel, Federer again stood in the Argentine’s way. The Swiss took the crown of his home town beating Del Potro in a tight three-set final. However, a notable 6-4 6-4 victory over Marin Cilic showed the world Del Potro was back at his best on the tour.
His final tournament of the season ended in Paris. A quarterfinal loss to John Isner meant he lost out on reaching the ATP World Tour Finals in London, but demonstrated how far the 2009 US Open champion had come this year.
Injuries have still been in forefront of Del Potro’s mind as he declined to be an alternate for the end of year tournament. Instead, he decided to take must needed rest and prepare for next season, a decision that in the longer term will pay dividends if he continues to perform.