Role Right-handed aggressive baseliner (two-handed backhand)
Juan Martin del Potro is an Argentinian tennis player who has firmly established himself in the top echelons of men's tennis. Standing 6'6" tall, he is armed with a big serve and big forehand which can blow anyone off the court.
Del Potro has had to fight off numerous career-threatening injuries in the last few years, but he has rebounded in find fashion every single time. He is a huge fan favorite at most venues across the world.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: Quarterfinalist (2009, 2012)
French Open: Semifinalist (2009, 2018)
Wimbledon: Semifinalist (2013)
US Open: Champion (2009)
Highest Ranking: No. 3
Style of play
Del Potro is a baseline-oriented power striker. His height and reach enable him to hit down on the ball more often than other players, which means he can generate a lot off flat power from the ground.
Del Potro has a serve typical of most tall players, and uses it to set up easy putaways for his forehand. He tends to stand considerably behind the baseline during rallies, and particularly so while returning serve, so that he has plenty of time to wind up for his shots.
Del Potro started using the backhand slice a lot more after his left wrist surgery, and now he slices close to 50% of all his backhands. He doesn't approach the net too often, but is comfortable with volleys.
Strengths and weaknesses
Del Potro's biggest strength by far is his forehand. Widely considered to be the best in the world, the Argentine's forehand has power as well as accuracy, and can break open any point with just one swing.
He has a good serve, and usually gets quite a few free points off it. He also has a good return, and uses his long limbs very effectively to reach wide serves.
Del Potro's backhand is easily his most glaring weakness, particularly after the wrist surgery. He has only just started hitting his topspin backhand more regularly, but even now it doesn't have anything close to the pace that it did a few years ago. Del Potro's slice is efficient, especially on quick surfaces, but the lack of a reliable topspin backhand can hurt him against the top players.
Del Potro also tends to be a little too passive early on in his matches, standing well below the baseline to retrieve shots, which works against his natural strengths.
Del Potro was born in Tandil, Argentina, and started playing tennis at the age of seven. Former player Ugo Colombini was one of his first coaches, and to this day he remains a close associate.
Del Potro was a teenage phenom, winning the first four tournaments of his career in succession back in 2008. When he won the US Open in 2009, many thought he would be the most consistent challenger to Federer and Nadal's dominance over the game.
However, Del Potro's bad luck with injuries has haunted him time and time again. He first underwent right wrist surgery in 2010, which put him out of the game for nearly a year. It took him another full year to get back to his best, but in 2014 disaster struck again - this time necessitating surgery on the left wrist.
Since his latest comeback from surgery, Del Potro has been forced to adopt a radically different game style. He no longer powers his backhand into the corners the way he used to, and instead relies primarily on the slice to keep him afloat from that wing. Consequently, a stark imbalance has been introduced into his game, which a lot of opponents have exploited successfully.
Despite all that, Del Potro has still managed to get back to the very top of the men's game; he won his first Masters title as recently as 2018. His persistence in the face of adversity has made him an immensely loved figure throughout the world, and his legion of fans make their presence felt wherever he plays.
Del Potro has also consistently sparkled while representing his nation, winning Argentina's first ever Davis Cup in 2016 and also bagging medals at the Olympics (bronze in 2012, silver in 2016). It is no surprise then that his countrymen support him so vociferously.