Juan Martin Del Potro: A baffling case of Tennis brilliance
The 2009 US Open Men’s final often serves as a treatise of the brilliance of tennis’ lucky loser Juan Martin Del Potro. Twenty year old kid bursting onto the upper echelons of the tennis realm and defeating the likes of Nadal and Federer in their prime still sounds like a fairy tale. Del Potro made us believe that miracles in sport are definitely not the thing of the past.
Tennis has often talked about the sheer dominance of the ‘Big Four’ which to a certain extent outshines what Delpo has managed to achieve in a career laden with momentous ups and downs. Things have not come easy for the 29 year old Argentine whose career was thwarted by six years of wrist injuries, and yet he stands amidst the elite men’s group staking a claim to be one amongst them. He is no longer the tennis’ underdog when it comes to Grand Slams and has often stomped his authority to defeat the contenders. If his recent performances are anything to go by, Del Potro has forced the media fraternity and compatriots alike to acknowledge his brilliance and in-game tactics not to forget his 100mph gigantic forehand that baffles even the best in the business.
Post his fourth wrist surgery in 2015, he has made it into the quarter finals of the US Open (his favourite slam!) for three consecutive years and has been more consistent in defeating the Top 10 players. His performance in the 2016 Rio Olympics was truly mesmerizing as he managed to grab silver after being seeded 145th in the rankings.
If that was not enough, the 6 feet 6 inch Tower of Tandil, as he is nicknamed, produced a tennis genius by defeating Marin Cilic in the 2016 Davis Cup match. It is till date regarded as one of the finest Davis Cup comebacks ever after coming from two sets down for the first time in his career to win in five sets, thereby winning Argentina its maiden Davis Cup Championship.
Outside of the US Open the Argentine has had one of his best seasons on the tour this year reaching the Top 10 rankings and winning several ATP tournaments like Acapulco Open, BNP Paribas Open and reaching the finals of Los Cabos Open. He also dug deep at the Roland Garros Open this year where he managed to reach the semis before eventually being defeated by the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal.
For a player who almost pondered upon quitting the game in early 2015 due to recurring wrist injuries his mental poise, grit and passion for the game is second to none. His renaissance has often given us a glimpse of the havoc his game is capable of unleashing onto his opponents with an aggressive approach and a THOR-esque forehand.
While much of his career has been of catastrophic setbacks and monumental comebacks, Delpo has managed to carve out a niche for himself in a sport that is unforgiving of injuries and semi-fit players. From being seeded outside the top 1000 in the men’s ATP rankings in 2015 to returning with a career-best ranking of 3 in 2018. In a time where we continue to be spellbound by the accomplishments of Rafael Nadal and the Swiss Maestro Roger Federer, Juan Martin Del Potro continues his fairytale journey with grit and determination.