Monday, March 28, 2011

Take That, Robin!

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Former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro has cleared another major hurdle in his storybook comeback by defeating World No. 4 Robin Soderling, 6-3, 6-2, in the third round of the ATP Masters in Miami. This was del Potro's first win over a Top 5 player since his long and exhausting comeback from right wrist surgery in May 2010.

After his first tour win during his comeback at Delray Beach Florida (which is a lower-tier event) the 22-year old Argentine said he would need around 20 to 25 more matches to be in full form and be able to compete with the Top 10 players in the world. Well amigo, you did it in 9 matches.

Personally, I'm not surprised at all that del Potro is pile driving his way back into the Top 10 because, when fully healthy, this guy is damn good. The way he manhandled then-World No. 1 Roger Federer at the 2009 U.S. Open Final is not something easily forgettable. You just don't do that out of pure luck. So I'm not surprised at all that, now fully healthy, he is storming his way down the rankings.
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During his absence, del Potro fell from No. 4 all the way to No. 485 in the world but in the last 3 months has quickly climbed down to No. 51 with a string of semifinal appearances and his victory at Delray Beach. His win over Soderling will no doubt put him in the Top 40 and on his way to reclaiming the No. 4 ranking.

Del Potro is now 20-5 in 2011 and something tells me he is on his way to doing way more damage. So watch out Top 10 players! Look who's back!

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