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Juan Martin Del Potro
Juan-Martin-del-Potro-W&SOpen2011
Country: Argentina Argentina
Biographical Information
Born: 23 September, 1988
Birthplace: Tandil, Argentina
Residence: Tandil, Argentina
Physical Information
Gender: Male
Height: 1.98 in (6 ft 6 in)
Turned pro: Turned pro
Tennis Information
Plays: Right-handed
Career prize money: US$7,531,007
Singles
Career Record: 177-82
Career titles: 9
Highest Ranking: No. 4 (11 January, 2010)
Current Ranking: No. 19 (8 August, 2011)
Grand Slam results
Australian Open: QF (2009)
French Open: SF (2009)
Wimbledon: 4R (2011)
US Open: W (2009)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals: F (2009)
Olympic Games: -
Doubles
Career Record: 24-22
Career titles: 1
Highest Ranking: No. 105 (25 May, 2009)
Current Ranking: No. 327 (1 August, 2011)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open: -
French Open: 1R(2006, 2007
Wimbledon: 1R (2007, 2008)
US Open: -
Other tournaments
Olympic Games: -
Last updated on: 17 August, 2011.

Juan Martín del Potro is a professional tennis player born on September 23, 1988. He is an Argentine who is the current highest-ranked Argentine player in the world. Del Potro achieved a top 10 ranking by the ATP for the first time on October 6, 2008. In January 2010, he reached a career-high ranking of World No. 4. Having started playing tennis at the age of seven, del Potro won his first senior match in 2004 at the age of 15. In 2008, he became the first player in ATP history to win his first four career titles in as many tournaments. He also completed the second longest winning streak in 2008, and the second longest by a teenager in the Open Era, behind Rafael Nadal—with his winning sequence spanning 23 matches over five tournaments.

Del Potro captured his maiden Grand Slam title at the 2009 US Open defeating Roger Federer in the final, and Nadal in the semifinal, becoming the first man ever to beat both Federer and Nadal in the same Grand Slam. He became the second Argentine and the fifth youngest man to win the US Open title in the Open Era. He was also the runner-up at the 2009 ATP World Tour Finals.
Juan Martin Del Potro

A photo of Juan Martin Del Potro

Early lifeEdit

Juan Martín del Potro was born in Tandil, Argentina. His father, Daniel del Potro, played semi-professional rugby union in Argentina and is a veterinarian. His mother, Patricia, is a teacher and he has a younger sister named Julieta. Del Potro speaks Spanish and knows some Italian and English. Aside from tennis, he enjoys playing football/soccer and supports the Boca Juniors team in Argentina and Juventus in Italy. He would often dedicate time to both sports during his childhood, and Argentinian-Italian international footballer Mauro Camoranesi remains a close friend of del Potro.

Del Potro began playing tennis at the age of seven with coach Marcelo Gómez (who also coached Tandil-born players Juan Mónaco, Mariano Zabaleta and Máximo González). Del Potro’s talent was discovered by Italian ex-tennis professional Ugo Colombini, who accompanied him through the initial phases of his young career, and is still today his agent and close friend. When questioned about his ambitions in tennis he replied, "I dream of winning a Grand Slam and the Davis Cup."

Tennis careerEdit

2002-2005Edit

As a junior in 2002, del Potro won the Orange Bowl 14s title, beating Marin Čilić en route to a 6-2, 7-6(5) victory over Pavel Tchekov in the final. In 2003, at the age of 14, del Potro received wild cards to three ITF Circuit events in Argentina, where he lost in straight sets in the first round of each. In May 2004, del Potro won his first senior match, at the age of 15, at the ITF Circuit event in Buenos Aires by defeating Matias Niemiz, he then went on to lose in three sets to Sebastian Decoud in the second round. His next victory came over five months later against the Chilean Alvaro Loyola in a tournament in Antofagasta. Later that year, del Potro reached the quarter-finals of the ITF Circuit event in Campinas, Brazil; recording victories over Henrique Mello and Alessandro Camarco. Del Potro won two more matches before the end of the year and saw his world ranking rise from 1,441 in August to 1,077 in November. He also reached the finals in the Argentina Cup and Internazionali BNL d'Italia78 Junior tournaments. Del Potro reached his first final of the ITF Junior Circuit on 11 January 2005, the Copa del Cafe (Coffee Bowl) - Junior ITF Tournament in Costa Rica, which he lost to Robin Haase in three sets. He was involved in a dispute with the umpire during this match, who decided to stop the play because of rain which del Potro believed favoured Haase. Because of the rain delays, the final set had to be played indoors; this was the first time the indoor courts had been used in the 44-year history of the youth tournament.

At the age of 16, del Potro reached his first senior singles final at the Futures tournament in Berimbau Naucalpan, Mexico where he lost to Darko Madjarovski 6-3, 4-6, 4-6. He then went onto win consecutive titles at two Future ITF Circuit events in Santiago, Chile, including the 26th International Junior tournament. In the first tournament, he beat Jorge Aguilar 6-4, 7-6(6) and in the second, he did not drop a set in the whole tournament and defeated Thiago Alves 6-1, 6-1 in the final, a player ranked more than 400 places higher at the time. He won his third title in his home country by defeating Damian Patriarca, who forfeited the match, at the ITF Circuit event in Buenos Aires. Del Potro turned professional after the Italy F17 event in Bassano and in his first professional tournament, the Lines Trophy in Reggio Emilia, he reached the semi-finals where he lost to countryman Martín Vassallo Argüello in three sets. Two tournaments later, he reached the final of the Credicard Citi MasterCard Tennis Cup in Campos do Jordão, Brazil where he lost to André Sá 4-6, 4-6. After turning 17, he won the Montevideo Challenger by defeating Boris Pašanski in the final in three sets. That same year, he failed in his first attempt to qualify for his first Grand Slam, at the US Open, losing in the first round to Paraguayan Ramón Delgado. Throughout 2005, del Potro jumped over 900 positions to finish with a world ranking of 158, largely due to winning three Futures tournaments. He was the youngest player to finish in the year-end top 200.

2006Edit

In February, del Potro played his first ATP tour event in Viña del Mar where he defeated Albert Portas before losing to Fernando González in the second round.

Later, seeded seventh, he won the Copa Club Campestre de Aguascalientes by defeating the likes of Dick Norman and Thiago Alves before beating Sergio Roitman 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the final. Del Potro qualified for the main draw of his first Grand Slam in the 2006 French Open, at the age of 17. He lost in the opening round to former French Open champion and 24th seed Juan Carlos Ferrero. Having received a wild card in July, he reached the quarter-finals of the ATP event in Umag, Croatia where he lost in three sets to the eventual champion, Stanislas Wawrinka. In Spain, he participated in the Open Castilla y León Challenger tournament held in Segovia, defeating the number one seed Fernando Verdasco in the quarter-finals and Benjamin Becker in the final. Del Potro qualified for his first US Open in 2006 after being seeded ninth in the qualifying stages where he beat Brian Vahaly, Wayne Arthurs and Daniel Köllerer in straight sets. In the US Open, he lost in the first round to fellow qualifier Alejandro Falla of Colombia in four sets. He went on to qualify for his first ATP Masters Series tournament in Spain, the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open, where he lost 4-6, 4-6 in the first round to Joachim Johansson. After receiving a wild card thanks to Roger Federer, he reached the quarter-finals of the 2006 Davidoff Swiss Indoors in Basel, Switzerland; defeating lucky loser Tobias Clemens in the first round and George Bastl in the second round before losing to the eventual runner-up Fernando González 7-5, 4-6, 4-6.

Del Potro finished 2006 as the youngest player in Top 100 at 18 years, 2 months.

2007Edit

Del Potro began the year by reaching his first semi-final in ATP Adelaide, Australia, where he lost to Chris Guccione 7-5, 3-6, 5-7 having beaten Igor Kunitsyn 6-2, 6-0 earlier in the day. He would then reach the second round of the Australian Open, where he had to retire because of injury in his match against eventual finalist Fernando González in the fifth set, with the score being 6-7(7), 6-4, 7-6(3), 4-6, 0-4 at the time of his retirement.
Juan-Martin-del-Potro-AussieOpen2008

Del Potro playing against Fernando González at the 2008 Australian Open

In February, del Potro played for Argentina in the first round of the Davis Cup against Austria winning the fourth and definite match against Jürgen Melzer 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, allowing Argentina to qualify for the quarter-finals. Del Potro defeated Feliciano López 6-1, 6-2 before losing to eventual semi-finalist Mardy Fish 1-6, 6-7(9) in the second round of the indoor Regions Morgan Keegan Championships. In his next ATP Masters event, he reached the second round of the Pacific Life Open, he beat Gustavo Kuerten in the first round but then lost to Richard Gasquet by a similar margin 6-7(2), 2-6. Del Potro went further in the Sony Ericsson Open, reaching the fourth round after he defeated three top 50 players; Jonas Björkman, Marcos Baghdatis, and Mikhail Youzhny before falling to Rafael Nadal 0-6, 4-6.

In May, he lost in the first round of the French Open to eventual champion, Nadal 5-7, 3-6, 2-6. In his first grass court event, del Potro beat Thomas Johansson in two sets and reached the second round at Queen's Club where he lost to Nadal. He also reached the quarter-finals in Nottingham the following week; there he beat British qualifier Jamie Baker and Kunitsyn in the first two rounds but lost to Ivo Karlović 6-7(10), 5-7 at the quarter-final stage. At his inaugural Wimbledon Championships, he defeated Davide Sanguinetti 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round before losing 2-6, 5-7, 1-6 to eventual champion Roger Federer in the second round, after a rain delay in the third set.

Del Potro lost to Frank Dancevic in three sets in the second round of the singles at the ATP event in Indianapolis. At the same event, partnered with Travis Parrott in doubles, he won his first doubles tournament defeating Teimuraz Gabashvili and Karlović 2–6, 6–2, 10–6 in the final.

He regards this as a special victory, "It was fantastic to play doubles with Parrott. I'm so happy because I've never won a doubles tournament. For the rest of my life, I will remember this tournament."[1] Del Potro qualified for the ATP Masters Series event in Cincinnati, where he reached the third round. He defeated countryman Guillermo Cañas in the first round and Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second before losing 5–7, 6–3, 5–7 to former world number one Carlos Moyá. At that year's US Open, he defeated Nicolas Mahut 6–0, 6–4, 6–2 and Melzer 6–3, 6–1, 6–4 before losing to eventual finalist and third seed Novak Djokovic 1–6, 3–6, 4–6 in the third round. He also reached the third round of the Madrid Masters by beating Potito Starace 7–5, 6–1 and Tommy Robredo 6–7(4), 6–4, 6–3 before losing to eventual champion David Nalbandian in straight sets. In the last tournament of the year, the Paris Masters, he reached the second round where he lost to Nikolay Davydenko 6–7(3), 1–6. That year, del Potro was the youngest player to finish in the year-end Top 50 at 19 years, 2 months.

2008Edit

Del Potro's first half of the season was utterly disappointing, starting with a first round loss in Adelaide, where he was the seventh seed. He then made it to the second round of the Australian Open in January, only to retire against David Ferrer due to an injury when the score was 3–6, 4–6 in favour of the Spaniard. Del Potro returned to the circuit in March, winning his first match against Jesse Levine, 7–5, 6–1 at the Sony Ericsson Open before losing 4–6, 2–6 in the second round to López. Struggling with injuries, his ranking fell as low as No. 81 in April. "At the start of the year, I was playing good, but I had many injuries, many problems with my body, with my physique," said del Potro. "I changed my coach, changed my physical trainer, I changed everything."

In May, del Potro had to retire again, this time it was a first round match against Andy Murray at the Rome Masters which stood at 7–5, 4–6, 0–1 at the time of his retirement. During the second set, the Argentine allegedly made derogatory comments about Murray's mother which resulted in a complaint to the umpire. Del Potro's serve was subsequently broken three times in a row and he suffered a back injury which caused his retirement. In his second Grand Slam of the year, the French Open, he was eliminated in the second round by Simone Bolelli in four sets. In June, he reached the semi-finals of the Ordina Open, losing to eventual winner and top seed Ferrer in straight sets. For the second year in a row, he was knocked out of Wimbledon in the second round; he won his first round clash with Pavel Šnobel in straight sets but then lost 6–7(5), 3–6, 5–7 to Wawrinka. After losing to Wawrinka, a successful summer followed for the Argentine. In July, del Potro and his team decided to remain in Europe to test his fitness. "We decided to play on clay courts for my back because if I start to play again on hard courts, maybe I will injure it again," he recalled. Del Potro won his first career ATP tour title at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, defeating Gasquet in straight sets in the final. A week later, del Potro reached his second career ATP Tour final at the Austrian Open in Kitzbühel, where he beat local hope and sixth seed Melzer 6–2, 6–1, in less than an hour, to claim his second title in two weeks. Having competed in just two clay tournaments all of the 2007 season, he never thought he would win his first two titles on clay courts. In August, del Potro won his third consecutive title at the Countrywide Classic in Los Angeles, beating Andy Roddick in 6–1, 7–6(2) in the final. After the match, Roddick praised his opponent. "[Del Potro] hits this way and this way kind of equally and he can hit it from inside out and running to it, which is a good thing for him, bad for the rest of us". A fourth consecutive title followed a week later in the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington D.C., where he recorded a 6–3, 6–3 victory over Viktor Troicki, becoming the first player in ATP history to win his first four career titles in as many tournaments. "I don't really understand what I did. It is difficult to believe that I have won four consecutive titles," del Potro said, crediting coach Franco Davin for his impressive run. "He changed my game. He changed my mind. He changed everything. When I play and I see him in the stands, it gives me confidence. I can play relaxed." At the 2008 US Open, del Potro progressed to the third round, where he won his first match to five sets in the circuit against Gilles Simon to reach the last 16. He went on to defeat Japanese teenager Kei Nishikori in straight sets, 6–3, 6–4, 6–3. In the quarter-finals, he was stopped by eventual finalist Murray, losing after almost four hours. The defeat came after 23 consecutive victories: the second longest winning streak in 2008 and the longest winning streak by a player outside the top 10 in the last 20 years. Del Potro was selected to play his first home-based Davis Cup tie, between Argentina and Russia, which took place on 19–21 September. He won his first singles match against Davydenko in three sets 6–1, 6–4, 6–2. He also won the fifth and deciding match against Igor Andreev in straight sets 6–4, 6–2, 6–1, booking Argentina a place in the final. At the AIG Japan Open Tennis Championships, he made the final by defeating number 11 seed Jarkko Nieminen, number one seed and defending champion Ferrer, and number four seed Gasquet. He was defeated by Tomáš Berdych 1–6, 4–6 in the final. At the Madrid Masters, he lost in the quarter-finals in straight sets to Federer. He reached the semi-finals of his next tournament, the Davidoff Swiss Indoors, before losing to countryman Nalbandian 4–6, 4–6. He was beaten by Nalbandian again in his next tournament, this time it was in the second round of the Paris Masters, del Potro blamed tiredness for his defeat, "It's difficult to play the last tournament of the year. I was tired, my mind was in Argentina [the venue for the Davis Cup final]". This left del Potro's qualification for the 2008 Tennis Masters Cup out of his hands; fortunately for him, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat James Blake in the semi-finals, which was enough to ensure his place at the year-end event. Del Potro won one match at the Masters Cup, against Tsonga, but lost his other two matches against the higher ranked Djokovic and Davydenko, meaning that he exited the tournament in the round robin stage. This was his last event of the year on the ATP Tour. He went on to lose one match 6–4, 6–7(2), 6–7(4), 3–6 in the Davis Cup final, against López, as his team succumbed to a 3–1 loss against Spain. He was forced to withdraw from his second match due to a thigh injury and was replaced by José Acasuso. Nonetheless, del Potro enjoyed a successful season; winning four titles and finishing 2008 as the youngest player in the top 10, top ranked Argentine, and highest ranked South American.

2009Edit

At the Heineken Open in Auckland, New Zealand, del Potro was the top seed for the tournament. He defeated American Sam Querrey in the final 6–4, 6–4 to win the title, the fifth of his career. Seeded eighth at the Australian Open, he beat Marin Čilić in the fourth round to become the first player to reach the quarter-finals that year. Del Potro's tournament ended in his next match when he lost in straight sets to Federer 3–6, 0–6, 0–6. At the BNP Paribas Open, the sixth seed del Potro advanced to the quarter-finals, where he was defeated by world number one Nadal. Del Potro avenged that loss the following week at the Sony Ericsson Open, where he came back from a double break down in the third set at 0–3 to defeat Nadal in the quarter-finals. This was the first time del Potro had defeated Nadal in five meetings. Despite a 1–6, 7–5, 2–6 loss in the semi-finals to Murray, del Potro reached a career-high ranking of world number five. In the clay court season, del Potro was eliminated in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters by Ivan Ljubičić. In Rome, del Potro beat Troicki and Wawrinka to advance to the quarter-finals where he was defeated by defending champion Djokovic in straight sets, this meant del Potro's head-to-head record with the Serb was now 0–3. Del Potro then played at the 2009 Madrid Masters. After defeating Murray for the first time in the quarter-finals, he lost to Federer in the semi-finals 3–6, 4–6. At the French Open, where he was the fifth seed, del Potro defeated Michael Llodra, Troicki, Andreev, and the number nine seed Tsonga en route to the quarter-finals. He then defeated three-time former quarter-finalist Robredo to get to his first semi-final. He was defeated in a close semi-final, where he was leading by a set twice, 6–3, 6–7(2), 6–2, 1–6, 4–6 by eventual champion Federer who, after their match, said: "[Del Potro] is young and strong, I have a lot of respect for him." Prior to this encounter, del Potro had never taken a set off Federer in their five previous career meetings. At the 2009 Wimbledon Championships, his poor grass court form from the past continued on, as he went down to unseeded Lleyton Hewitt 3–6, 5–7, 5–7 in the second round. In the Davis Cup quarter-final against the Czech Republic, del Potro won his matches against Ivo Minář and Berdych in straight sets but Argentina still lost the tie 2–3, eliminating them from the competition. A few weeks later, he defeated Hewitt and Fernando González en route to the Washington final. He successfully defended his title against top seeded Wimbledon-finalist Roddick 3–6, 7–5, 7–6(6) to win his second tournament of the year, and become the first player since Andre Agassi to win back-to-back Washington titles. Del Potro played the following week at the Masters 1000 in Montreal, where he was seeded sixth, defeating world number two Nadal in the quarter-finals 7–6(5), 6–1, his second win in a row over Nadal. He then defeated Roddick in the semi-finals 4–6, 6–2, 7–5, saving a match point, to advance to his first Masters 1000 final, and to improve his head-to-head record against Roddick to 3–0. In the final, he lost against Murray 7–6(4), 6–7(3), 1–6. He later withdrew from the next Masters 1000 event in Cincinnati due to fatigue. Seeded sixth at the 2009 US Open, del Potro began by defeating Mónaco and Melzer in straight sets, before dropping a set but defeating Köllerer to reach the fourth round. He defeated a resurgent Ferrero 6–3, 6–3, 6–3 to advance to the quarter-finals for the second consecutive year. Del Potro would then advance to the semi-final by defeating Čilić 4–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–1. Del Potro was down a set and a break, before winning 17 of the final 20 games to win the match. His advance to the semi-finals ensured his return to the top five in the world rankings. He then defeated world number three and reigning Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal 6–2, 6–2, 6–2 in the semi-finals to reach his first Grand Slam final. This was his third consecutive victory over Nadal, and made him the first Argentine to reach a Grand Slam singles final since Mariano Puerta at the 2005 French Open. Del Potro went one better, rallying from two sets and a break down to defeat world number one and five-time defending champion Roger Federer 3–6, 7–6(5), 4–6, 7–6(4), 6–2; his first victory over Federer after six previous defeats, and Federer's first loss in the US Open since 2003. "Since [I was] young, I dream with this and take trophy with me," said del Potro, who became the first Argentine male to win the title since Guillermo Vilas in 1977. "I did my dream, and it's unbelievable moment. It's amazing match, amazing people. Everything is perfect." After the match, Federer praised del Potro; "I thought he hung in there and gave himself chances and, in the end, was the better man." He is the first player since countryman David Nalbandian to defeat Federer at the US Open, and at 198 cm (6 ft 6 in), he is the tallest ever Grand Slam champion. Besides Nadal, Del Potro is the only player to defeat Federer in a Grand Slam final, and the first player to defeat both Nadal and Federer in the same Grand Slam tournament. In his first match since the US Open, Del Potro was upset by world No. 189 Édouard Roger-Vasselin in straight sets at the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo. He then lost his second straight match to Melzer in the second round at the Masters 1000 event in Shanghai, retiring while trailing 5–7, 1–2. This retirement caused concerns over the length of the tennis season. He had to retire again in the Paris Masters quarterfinals when down 4–0 to Radek Stepanek due to an abdominal injury. In November, del Potro competed in the ATP World Tour Finals where he lost his first round robin match against Andy Murray 3–6 6–3 2–6, but he managed to defeat Fernando Verdasco 6–4, 3–6, 7–6(1) in his second match to keep his hopes alive. After defeating Roger Federer 6–2, 6–7(5), 6–3 in the following match, he qualified for the semifinals, ousting Murray by the slimmest possible margin of one game. He defeated Robin Söderling in the semifinals 6–7(1), 6–3, 7–6(3), before losing to Nikolay Davydenko 3–6, 4–6 in the final. Del Potro finished 2009 as the youngest player in the top 10, top ranked Argentine, and highest ranked South American for the second consecutive year.

2010Edit

Del Potro started his 2010 season at the AAMI Kooyong Classic in Melbourne, Australia with a 6–3 6–3 win over Croatian world number 24 Ivan Ljubicic. On January 11th, he moved up to a career high World No. 4. He was scheduled to face Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on day two of the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament, but withdrew due to a wrist injury. He came into the 2010 Australian Open with a slight wrist injury. In the opening round, he had a four-set win over Michael Russell 6–4, 6–4, 3–6, 6–2. In the second round, he struggled with his wrist, but managed to defeat James Blake in a classic 6–4, 6–7(3), 5–7, 6–3, 10–8 victory. On January 18, he fell back to World No. 5. Struggling with fatigue and lethargy, he managed to beat German Florian Mayer in a patchy 6–3, 0–6, 6–4, 7–5 victory, in the third round. In the fourth round, he fell to Marin Cilic in a five-set match 7–5, 4–6, 5–7, 7–5, 3–6.

Playing styleEdit

Del Potro is primarily an offensive baseliner with a powerful serve and deep, flat groundstrokes. His forehand shot is one of his main strengths, capable of generating speeds over 100mph, and he also possesses a very consistent and powerful double-handed backhand. Despite his height, del Potro is considered one of the best movers on the ATP tour, able to move efficiently on various surfaces like clay and hard courts. Del Potro's height allows him to get a powerful first serve, and makes it easier for him to return high topspin balls. Del Potro's best surfaces are hard and clay, while his game on grass has yet to improve with his height being cited as a possible factor.

Equipment and apparelEdit

Del Potro used the Wilson BLX Pro Tour Racquet during the 2010 season but changed to Wilson K Factor 6.1 95 (18 X 20) and strings with Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power, and is sponsored by Nike. He often wore a sleeveless shirt in the 2010 season but changed to short sleeved shirts in 2011, a double-wide wristband, a bandana, Nike Zoom Breath 2K10 shoes and a pair of woven shorts when on the court.


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