Juan Martin del Potro fell short of achieving the Argentinean dream of conquering the first BNP Paribas Open Men’s Singles title for Argentina since 1977, when Guillermo Vilas managed the feat. Del Potro overcame both Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic in the latter rounds, but could not conquer the rehabilitated Rafael Nadal.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDmZY0uL3mw?rel=0]
Who is Juan Martin del Potro? The #7 ranked player in the world happens to be the only player not named Murray, Djokovic, Nadal, or Federer to win a Grand Slam tennis tournament since 2005. He managed to win the 2009 U.S. Open in stunning 5-set fashion from Roger Federer, who had taken the U.S. Open each year since 2003.
Just 24 years old, Del Potro is still very young, and although he hasn’t come anywhere close to winning another Grand Slam, he was injured for nearly a full year, and is just settling back into his game.
2012 was a good year of returns for Del Potro as he secured a quarterfinals appearance in three of the Grand Slam tournaments. He also earned an Olympic Bronze medal with a victory over Djokovic. Could 2013 finally be the year he makes a resurgence by winning another Grand Slam?
Based on this tournament the answer is yes. At the BNP Paribas Open he defeated Andy Murray in the quarterfinals, and then topped #1 ranked Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. His finals loss to Rafael Nadal was a back and forth affair that lasted three full sets. He did come out strong by winning the first set, and played competitively throughout the entire match.
I feel that such a bright BNP Paribas Open for Del Potro will only set the stage for another successful summer. Perhaps he will be able to overcome the final disappointment with a victorious Grand Slam, perhaps even at the U.S. Open again.
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