In 2009 a man from Tandil in Argentina powered his way to the very top in New York.
The 2009 US Open was the last of former champion Marat Safin in his final major appearance, it was also the first time in US Open history no American male player made the quarter finals and Del Potro of course was the only winner of a Grand Slam between 2005 and 2014 Australian Open who wasn’t Roger, Rafa or Novak.
Getting through to the quarter finals wasn’t a problem for the Argentine who dropped one set on route to the final eight and won nine of his twelve sets by the scoreline 6-3.
Andy Murray’s defeat to the Marin Cilic send the second seed home early and Marin also saw his tournament end from a set up to the Argentine. Del Potro lost the first set 4-6 but won 18 of the last 24 games to win 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-1.
Rafael Nadal had likewise had an strong run to the final four but the Spaniard was blown away by the sheer power and accuracy of Del Po who won 6-2 6-2 6-2.
Del Potro defeating Nadal meant once again the US Open was starved and still to this date of a FeDal tie.
Not only that but Del Potro became the first to beat both of them in a major coming from two sets to one down and championship point down to defeat Federer in five and win his first major title!
Over the years a lot has happened to Del Potro. How would I define his career and his character since then?
Fulfilled, Resilient, Joy, Hope and Love.
People will say, how can it be fulfilled when he’s been injured a lot. Think of what he has achieved for a moment and the memories he has created.
Since that final in 2009 he has missed almost four to five years of tennis with countless injuries and surgeries and continues to come back. His resilience is quite incredible.
Since he won the US Open in 2009 he has gone onto achieve…
- 9 Grand Slam quarter finals (three semi’s and one final) in 25 appearances
- 15 Masters 1000 quarter finals (one title, six semi-finals and two finals)
- Olympic Bronze 2012
- Olympic Silver 2016
- Davis Cup champion 2016
- 39 Top 10 ranked wins
- 15 titles (6 ATP 500 & First Masters 1000)
This man has fought back from countless injuries time and time again and achieved those accolades is simply outstanding and true testament to his character.
I don’t think there is a more universally loved and appreciated player than Juan Martin Del Potro.
There are moments over the last ten years than I won’t forget. The emotion he shows is what the sport is about. He loves the sport, the sport loves him.
Many memories created. The joy he has brought to the tennis court and his resilience goes unmatched.
Del Potro has fractured his knee cap twice in the last couple of years but is back on the path to recovery. He returned to tennis in Madrid, Rome, Roland Garros and then at Queens Club injured himself again. He played some outstanding tennis in Rome in particular in that quarter final match with Djokovic!
When tennis resumes I do hope we see more the Argentine back in tennis, what he has done for the sport and the memories he has given fans has been amazing!