Full Name: Juan Martin del Potro
Birthdate: September 23, 1988
Place of Birth: Argentina
Playing Years: 2005 to present
Award(s): 2016 Davis Cup Champion
ATP Comeback Player of the Year (2011, 2016)
2016 Olympics Silver Medalist
Argentina’s Sportsman of the Year (2013)
2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist
2009 US Open Grand Slam Champion
Formative Years and Tennis Career:
Juan Martin del Potro started to play tennis at the early age of 7. He first began training with prominent coach Marcelo Gomez at the Club Independiente de Tandil in Argentina. On the same year, he competed in his first national champion in Bragado, Buenos Aires. By age 12, he earned a spot as the representative for Argentina on the Nike Junior Tour. He also won his first ever professional match in Buenos Aires at the International Tennis Federation event. Despite his towering, lanky frame, he became the youngest player to have a place in the Top 100 in 2006, in the Top 50 in 2007, and in the Top 10 in 2008, even qualifying for the Nitto Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Finals in 2008-2009 and 2012-2013.
Seeded at number six at the 2009 U.S. Open, del Potro won against third seed Rafael Nadal in the semifinals to compete with Roger Federer for the Grand Slam title. The then-20-year-old Juan Martin del Potro surprised the tennis scene with his first ever Grand Slam Championship title, upsetting the great Roger Federer in an exciting five-set match. His win against Federer made him the first Argentine male to win the U.S. Open title since Guillermo Vilas in 1977.
Del Potro missed a large part of the 2010 season after undergoing a series of wrist surgeries, three of these are on his left wrist alone. He was hindered by his wrist problems in the succeeding years which caused his title to drop from Grand Slam Champion to outside of the world’s top 500. Though by 2011, he jumped to more than 200 spots in the world rankings. By 2013, he was once again included in the ‘Big Five’ along with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray. However, his wrist problems returned and required more surgery in 2014, destroying his hopes of bagging another Grand Slam title. He considered retiring from the sport, even admitting that he reached the point where he is unable to watch the sport he loved so much, but decided to keep fighting instead.
The year 2016 was great for the Argentine star. Del Potro was able to regain his form to bag the silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics, outranking Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. Furthermore, he rose to more than 500 spots in the world rankings, even leading Argentina to its first ever Davis Cup title, winning 5-setters against Andy Murray and Marin Cilic. He was also named ATP Comeback Player of the Year in 2011 and 2016.
After enduring one of the most frustrating tennis career due to his wrist injuries, Juan Martin del Potro is recently back in the tennis scene, and much greater than ever. He won against top-ranked Roger Federer in the Indian Wells Masters, or the BNP Paribas Open last March 2018. Del Potro became the first ever Argentine winner in the long 42-year history of the desert open. As of now, Juan Martin del Potro is placed at number 3 in the Association of Tennis Professionals world rankings and is gearing up to win his 2nd Grand Slam title this 2018 U.S. Open.
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