Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Del Potro needs to find his game soon

Del Potro needs to find his game soon

Former Grand Slam champion Juan Martin del Potro suffered a huge blow to his aspirations of joining the ATP elite quartet after being dumped out of the early rounds at Melbourne to France’s Jeremy Chardy.

With Rafael Nadal out injured and Del Potro in a favourable side of the draw, the Betfair tennis suggested the path was clear to reach at least the semi-finals.

The Argentine, who beat Adrian Mannarino and Benjamin Becker with ease to make the third round, crashed out 3-6 3-6 7-6 6-3 3-6 in a gruelling match on the Melbourne hard surface.

Had he won then a clash with Andy Murray in the quarters was on the cards – a match that fans on Betfair would have given Del Potro a good chance of winning given that Murray struggled in his third-round tie with Ricardas Berankis.

Maybe Del Potro took his eye off the ball and had already started thinking about the quarters, for Chardy careered into a two-set lead with ease in front of an astonished Australian crowd. The Frenchman kept his serve tight and defended well off the baseline, forcing Del Potro into a flurry of errors that still remained despite the Argentine drawing level by the fourth.

The effort needed to come back from a two-set deficit was evident in the fifth, where again Del Potro struggled to handle Chardy’s consistency. It was a disappointing end to a promising tournament that this 2009 US Open champion was meant to prove his worth to the world at.

For with Nadal out and David Ferrer his only main challenger for fourth spot this 24-year-old expected himself to make headways in Melbourne. Fourth seed in a Grand Slam is far better than fifth and effectively gives you a clear run to the semis if you are consistent enough.

Sadly, Del Potro lacked the consistency needed to earn that right and must now waiting until the clay king returns at Roland Garros for another shot at progression.

Photo Source: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images AsiaPac