Is Del Potro Ready to Upset the big boys Again?
For many, the winner of the men's singles title at the US Open can only possibly come from a group of three players. Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and defending champion, Andy Murray, seem to be the only candidates for success at Flushing Meadows.
The sentimental amongst us might have a look at Roger Federer but, judging by his rapidly deteriorating form, it looks unlikely he will be adding to his 17 Grand Slam titles before putting away his racket.
So, if you are looking for an answer outside the obvious, then why not check out the shortening odds of 2009 US Open winner, Juan Martin del Potro? The powerful Argentine defeated Nadal and Federer to lift the title in New York four years ago but has struggled to recapture that kind of form since due to a wrist injury. The 24-year-old spent close to a year on the sidelines and, as a result, slipped to number 485 in the world.
Had it not been for that injury, then pundits on Betfair would have been talking about a big five, rather than big four for the last couple of years. Del Potro has already shown his grand slam-winning ability once so why not again?
Certainly, there have been signs this year of the laid back South American rediscovering his best form, defeating Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray on his way to the Indian Wells Masters final. He also took Djokovic the distance on one leg in their semi-final encounter at Wimbledon in July.
There is no doubt that Del Potro relishes playing on the biggest stage and the Slams give him the opportunity to show off to a massive audience. Rather than be intimidated by having Djokovic in his half of the draw, the former champion is bound to relish the challenge of defeating him.
Del Potro has also made it clear the hard courts are his surface of choice, the 6ft6in competitor having won 46% of matches on that surface. All this adds up to a serious challenger to the world’s top three. Del Potro certainly looks capable of taking a big bite out of the big three in the Big Apple.