Who Is Juan Martin Del Potro?
Juan Martin Del Potro is a top-ten professional tennis player from Argentina. He may not have managed quite the same stellar achievements as the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, but he’s definitely a guy that the other players in the men’s game fear. Currently ranked #6 in the world, he’s been in the top ten – apart from when he was injured – pretty much continuously since 2008. That’s the sort of consistency that should win major titles, but in an era dominated by some of the greatest players in the history of tennis, he’s only managed to take one slam.
Del Potro’s one and only major victory came in 2009, when he picked up the US Open crown. He did it the hard way, too, winning a tough semi-final against Nadal and an even harder final against Federer – who at the time was at the peak of his considerable powers. He therefore holds a remarkable record: he is the only man other than the “Big Four” of Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray to win a major in a run going way back to 2005. He’s often been quite successful in other tournaments, but has never made another slam final, and has usually departed somewhere around the fourth round or quarter-final stage.
That sort of record wouldn’t normally get a man a top-six place in the rankings, but Del Potro is incredibly consistent in other tournaments. He won a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics, and has regularly picked up overall victories in other competitions. He is a very tough competitor, as both Federer and Djokovic have discovered – both men had to play for over four hours to beat Del Potro in the Olympics and Wimbledon 2013 respectively. After injury in 2010, he came back from #485 in the world to the fringes of the top ten in just one year.
Del Potro’s style is strongly attacking, despite his preference for baseline shots. His forehand is extremely powerful, and stands comparison with that of any other leading player today. His serve is also excellent, sometimes reaching speeds of over 140 mph. Although he is tall at 6 feet 6 inches, he is capable of delicately controlled touch and slice shots. Del Potro has already racked up an impressive $12 million in prize money during his professional career, and at the age of just 24 he is certain to add considerably to this in the future, provided that he stays injury-free.