The Year So Far In Review : Juan Martin del Potro
The many people who said Juan Martin del Potro was not good enough to stay with the big five must be kicking themselves now. Not only is he not going to relinquish the number five spot anytime soon, he is only looking at going up. Depending on how he does in Shanghai, Juan could be knocking at the door of Murray’s number four.
Of course the rankings are hardly the most important thing in Juan’s 2009. He started the year by winning Auckland, and followed it up by reaching the quarter finals of the Australian Open. He then got demolished by Roger Federer, and a lot of people questioned his drive and potential to suceed. Juan kept insisting he just needed time, and he was right, a few months later reaching the semi finals of Roland Garros. He again fell to Federer, but this time it was in an epic five setter. Del Potro struggled at Wimbledon and was upset in the second round by an in-form Lleyton Hewitt. By this time he was ranked five in the world, but heading into the hard court season where he had points to defend. He defended the Legg Mason Classic, beating Andy Roddick in a thrilling three setter, and moved rapidly onto Toronto, where he lost in another tight three setter in the final to Andy Murray. Del Potro made the decision to pull out of Cincy, sighting fatigue. This turned out to be one of the smartest decisions in his career. Well rested and confident, Juan Martin stormed through his US Open draw, crushing Rafael Nadal on his way to the final. Here, he met Federer once again. This time, Juan was ready. He came from two sets to one down to post the biggest win of his career. Juan Martin del Potro beat Roger Federer to claim the US Open title. What more needs to be said?
Juan Martin is now 21 years old and only seems to be going up. He lost early in Tokyo to a qualifier, but was clearly battling fatigue and injury. Though del Potro clearly is feeling the physcial and emotional effects of his amazing season, wins in Shaghai or London would probably boost his ranking. If he could finish inside the top four this year, and hang onto it for the Australian Open, del Potro’s draw would be far more favourable than a five seeding would be. Of course, Juan probably doesn’t want to be thinking this far ahead, nobody wants to put too much pressure on the young man.
Juan Martin has had the season of his life this year, and the future only looks brighter.
Overall verdict: Outstanding