Before injury cut short Juan Martin del Potro’s 2018 season at Shanghai Masters, the Argentine probably had pieced together the best season of his career. Even though his only Grand Slam title came in 2009, in terms of sheer consistency and quality, an argument can be made that the 2018 season is probably his best season so far.
In 2018, the Tower of Tandil reached six tournament finals, winning two and losing four of them. A major highlight of the season for him was winning his first Masters 1000 Title, when he defeated Roger Federer at Indian Wells Masters.
His first title of the year came at ATP 500 Mexican Open at Acapulco, where he defeated Kevin Anderson in straight sets in the final.
In a season dotted with many highlights, another significant one was his magnificent run to the US Open final, where he finished second best to Novak Djokovic. But what must have given him a lot of confidence was his win over Rafael Nadal in the semi-final, after two losses in the previous two Grand Slams.
Del Potro had lost to Nadal in the French Open semi-final in a rather one-sided encounter. But he was involved in an epic five-set encounter against Nadal in the Wimbledon Quarter Finals, where he was up two sets to one, before Nadal won the last two sets. To come back and defeat the same opponent after this heartbreaking loss was certainly a significant moment for Del Potro, though Rafa had to withdraw mid-match after being down two sets.
In terms of rankings, he achieved his career-best rank of world #3 in August. He also secured his 400th career win during the course of this season. If injury had not cut short his season, he would have been able to soar even higher.
In a recent Instagram message, he shared the news of his rehabilitation from injury. It seems he may be out for the early part of 2018 season, which will be really bad news for his millions of fans and world tennis in general. But as he has done so many times in the past, he will come back strong, one more time.
Predictions for 2019 Season:
Juan Martin del Potro will end the season among the Top 10.
Possible Surprise: He will win a 2nd Masters 1000 on hard court and a 2nd US Open title.Published 11 Nov 2018, 17:34 IST