Monday, May 2, 2011

So Far, So Good for The Pride of Argentina

Beware of this man!

Getty Images/AP Photos
While we focus our attention on World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, No. 2 Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Roger Federer and their historic rivalries, let's not fall asleep on former World No. 4 and 2009 U.S. Open champion, Juan Martin del Potro, who has slowly but surely regained his form after being derailed by a devastating right wrist injury.

Yesterday, del Potro won his 2nd tournament of the year at the Estoril Open in Portugal by thrashing the 2nd seeded Fernando Verdasco in the Final, 6-2, 6-2.

It's been a tough road back for del Potro since suffering the wrist injury, which required surgery, early last year. The recovery period kept him out of action for nearly a year and due to his absence and early struggles on the comeback trail, he completely fell out of the rankings dropping from No. 4 all the way to No. 485 as recently as January 31, 2011. But with his right wrist fully healing, he has gone on a 3 month tear since February 1, winning 2 titles and reaching the semifinals of two other tournaments. Today he has risen all the way to No. 32 in the world and climbing at blazing speed. So it's just a matter of time before he regains his old familiar spot in the Top 10.

And while all the talk continues to be about the Nadal-Djokovic-Federer rivalries (and rightly so), it wouldn't surprise me if in due time del Potro starts to spoil their party like he did at the 2009 U.S. Open. To this day he is still the only player ever to defeat both Federer and Nadal in the same Grand Slam tournament. Not even Djokovic can say that.

And at only 22, del Potro ain't going away any time soon, that's for sure.

2 comments:

  1. What do you think of Djokovic beating Nadal yesterday? Just like we said huh?

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  2. I had mixed feelings about it, Cleavie. Part of me was shocked and part of me wasn't. Rafa has been so invincible on clay over the past 6 years that we almost take for granted he's going to win every clay tournament. But you nailed it in your piece on Djokovic. We have to start getting used to the fact that there's a new sheriff in town and the momentum is all on his side.

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