Juan Martin Del Potro
Juan Martín del Potro (born September 23, 1988) is an Argentine professional tennis player who is currently ranked No. 8 in the world.
In August 2008, he became the first player in ATP history to win his first four career titles in as many tournaments. He also owns the second longest winning streak in 2008, and the second longest by a teenager in the Open Era, behind Rafael Nadal - a streak of 23 straight match wins in five tournaments.
Del Potro was born in Tandil, Argentina. His father Daniel, played semi-pro rugby union in Argentina and is a veterinarian. His mother Patricia, is a teacher. He has a younger sister named Julieta. Del Potro speaks Spanish, Italian, and English. Aside from tennis, he enjoys playing soccer and supports the Boca Juniors team in Argentina and Juventus in Italy.
He began playing tennis at age seven, with his childhood idol being Pete Sampras. He also admires tennis pros Marat Safin and Lleyton Hewitt.
At the age of 14, Del Potro received wildcards to three ITF Circuit events in Argentina, where he lost in the first round of each.
In 2004, Del Potro won his first professional 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 the second round. Later that year, Del Potro reached the quarterfinals of the ITF Circuit event in Campinas, Brazil. He also reached the finals in the Argentina Cup and Campionati Internazionali D'Italia Junior tournaments.
Del Potro began the year by reaching the finals of the ITF Junior Circuit called "Copa del Café" (Coffee Bowl) in Costa Rica, which he lost to Robin Haase. He was a crowd favorite and was widely known for his short temper.
He went on to reach the quarterfinals of the ITF Circuit event in El Salvador. At the age of 16, he reached his second professional singles final at the International Casablanca Cup in Mexico where he lost to Darko Madjarovski. He also won consecutive titles at two Junior ITF Circuit events in Santiago, Chile, including the 26th International Junior tournament. He won his third title in his home country by defeating Damian Patriarca at the ITF Circuit event in Cordoba, Argentina.
After turning pro later that year, he reached the final of the Campos do Jordao Challenger in Brazil where he lost to André Sá. At age 17, he won the Montevideo Challenger by defeating Boris Pašanski in the finals. That same year, he also attempted to qualify for his first Grand Slam at the US Open. After ending 2005 ranked #1,077 in the world, Del Potro jumped over 900 positions, largely due to winning three Futures tournaments.
In February, Del Potro played his first ATP tour event in Vina del Mar where he defeated Albert Portas in the first round before losing to Fernando González in the second round. Later, he won the Aguascalientes Challenger by defeating Sergio Roitman 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, where he lost in the opening round to former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero. Later that year, he reached the quarterfinals of the ATP event in Umag, Croatia where he lost to the eventual champion, Stanislas Wawrinka. In Spain, he won the Segovia Challenger by defeating Benjamin Becker in the finals.
Del Potro qualified for his first US Open in 2006, where he lost in the first round to Alejandro Falla. He went on to qualify for his first ATP Masters Series tournament in Spain where he lost in the first round to Joachim Johansson. Having received an invitation, thanks to Roger Federer, he reached the quarterfinals of the 2006 Davidoff Swiss Indoors in Basel, Switzerland where he lost to the eventual runner-up Fernando González.
Del Potro began the year by reaching his first semifinal in ATP Adelaide, Australia, where he lost to Chris Guccione. He would then reach the second round of the Australian Open where he had to retire in his match against Fernando González in the fifth set.
On February 11, Del Potro played for Argentina at the first round of the Davis Cup against Austria winning the 4th and definite rubber, giving Argentina the classification for the quarterfinals.
He reached the second round of the Indian Wells Masters and went on to reach the fourth round of the Miami Masters where he defeated Jonas Björkman, Marcos Baghdatis, and Mikhail Youzhny before falling to Rafael Nadal. In May, he lost in the first round of the French Open to eventual champion, Rafael Nadal.
In his first grass court event, Del Potro reached the second roun at Queen's Club where he lost to Rafael Nadal. He also reached the quarterfinals in Nottingham the following week where he lost to Croatian, Ivo Karlovi?. At his inaugural Wimbledon, he defeated Davide Sanguinetti in the first round before losing to eventual champion Roger Federer in the second round.
Del Potro qualified for the ATP Masters Series event in Cincinnati where he reached the third round and lost to former World No. 1 Carlos Moyà. He partnered with Travis Parrott to win the doubles title at the ATP event in Indianapolis. At the US Open, he defeated Nicolas Mahut and Jürgen Melzer before losing to eventual finalist Novak ?okovi? in the third round in straight sets. He also reached the third round of the Madrid Masters before losing to eventual champion David Nalbandian.
Del Potro lost in the first round in Adelaide to Michael Russel and then made it to the second round of the Australian Open in January, retiring in his match against David Ferrer due to an injury. Del Potro returned to the circuit in March, winning his first match against Jesse Levine, 7–5, 6–1 at the Miami Masters. In June, he reached the semi-finals of the Ordina Open, losing to eventual winner David Ferrer in straight sets.
After losing in the second round of Wimbledon, an outstanding summer followed for the Argentine. Del Potro won his first career ATP tour title at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, defeating Richard 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 Jürgen Melzer 6–2, 6–1, in less than an hour, to claim his second title in two weeks. He won his third consecutive title at the Countrywide Classic in Los Angeles, beating Andy Roddick in 6-1,7-6(2) in the final on August 10, 2008. A fourth consecutive title followed a week later in the Legg Mason Tennis Classic at Washington where he recorded a 6-3, 6-3 victory over the Serb, Viktor Troicki, becoming the first player in ATP history to win his first four career titles in as many tournaments.
In 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 then qualified for the quarter-finals by beating Kei Nishikori in straight sets. In the quarterfinals, he was stopped by Andy Murray from winning his 24th match in a row, losing in four tight sets after almost four hours.
After the US Open, where Del Potro achieved a career best Grand Slam result, he completed 23 consecutive victories: the second-longest winning streak in 2008, the second-longest by a teenager in the Open Era, and the third-best among Argentine players.
Del Potro was selected to play the Davis Cup tie between Argentina and Russia, which takes place on September 19-21, 2008. He won his first singles match against Nikolay 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, where they will play Spain.
At the AIG Japan Open Tennis Championships, he made the final by defeating #11 seed Jarkko Nieminen, #1 seed and defending champion David Ferrer, and #4 seed Richard Gasquet. He was defeated by Tomáš Berdych 6-1, 6-4 in the final, after which both Berdych and Del Potro himself commented that he (Del Potro) wasn't at the top of his game. As a result of his performances at the tournament, Del Potro made the Top 10 at #9.
At the Madrid Masters he lost in the quarterfinals in straight sets to Roger Federer. He reached the semi-finals of his next tournament, the Davidoff Swiss Indoors, before losing to countryman David Nalbandian, and was beaten by Nalbandian again, in the second round of the Paris Masters. This left del Potro's qualification for the Tennis Masters Cup out of his hands; fortunately for him, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat James Blake in the semifinals, which was enough to ensure his place at the year-end even
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, Del Potro lost in straight sets to Federer in the quarter-finals 6–3, 6–0, 6–0
At the BNP Paribas Open, as the sixth seed Del Potro advanced to the quarter-finals, where he was eventually defeated by world number one Nadal 6–2, 6–4. 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 6–4, 3–6, 7–6(3). This was the first time Del Potro had defeated Nadal. Despite a 6–1, 5–7, 6–2 loss in the semi-finals to Murray, Del Potro reached a career high of world number five.
In the clay court season, Del Potro was eliminated in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters by Ivan Ljubicic. In Rome, Del Potro advanced to the quarter-finals where he was defeated by defending champion Djokovic in straight sets. 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 6–3, 6–4.
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 Tommy Robredo to get to his first semi-final. He was defeated in a close semi-final 3–6, 7–6 (7-2), 2–6, 6–1, 6–4 by eventual champion Federer. 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 6–3, 7–5, 7–5 in the second round. A few weeks later, he defeated Hewitt in Washington 4–6, 6–3, 7–6(2), and also beat Fernando González 7–6(2), 6–3 en route to the 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 (1998–1999) to win back-to-back Washington titles
He 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; this was 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 improve his head-to-head record against Roddick to 3–0. In the final, he lost against Murray 6–7(4), 7–6(3), 6–1. He 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 Marin Cilic 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 down a set and a break to defeat world number one and five-time defending U.S. Open champion Roger Federer 3–6, 7–6(5), 4–6, 7–6(4), 6–2; this was his first victory over Federer after six previous defeats, and Federer's first loss in the US Open since 2003. He is the first non-European to win a Grand Slam since Gaston Gaudio in 2004, and the second South American male to win the US Open - the first being compatriot Guillermo Vilas in 1977. He became the first player since countryman David Nalbandian to defeat Federer at the US Open, the second player to defeat Federer in a Grand Slam final (the first being Nadal), and the first player to defeat both Nadal and Federer in the same Grand Slam tournament. At 198cm (6 ft 6 in), he is also the tallest ever Grand Slam champion (the previous holder of this record was 1996 Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek)
There is no content