In the Argentina of the 30s, Carlos Gardel sang that of “Back with the withered brow”, to the rhythm of tango and ballad, with his head set in a country that tried to get ahead and in which art and sport They have always been merged into an image that barely allows us to appreciate differences between a dribble by Maradona and a verse by Borges.
In the center of the country albiceleste, a tower arose in the city of Tandil: Juan Martín del Potro. A construction of almost two meters high that was able to conquer the United States Open in 2009 going back to Roger Federer, laying the foundations of what seemed like a meteoric career, but that was left less due to injuries, those that they have only allowed him to shine in flashes.
Its darkest point came in February 2016, when it bottomed out in the ranking by falling to the 1,045 position in the world. Unreal, because his ranking protected by injuries allowed him to play renowned tournaments, but enough to remind him that the road to the top was long and capable of dwarfing the biggest.
Del Potro wins his first Masters 1000 against Federer
His 2016 season was a clear reflection of his career. Without the regularity of others, his fuse ignited sparks. Without great results in the circuit (only conquered the Stockholm tournament), his dreams came in parallel competitions like the Olympic Games and the Davis Cup. In the first one he won an Olympic silver that almost made him gold, after defeating Rafael Nadal in the semifinals, and in the second he made champion for the first time to his country, after raising two sets against Marin Cilic in the final between Croatia and Argentina in Balkan lands.
Del Potro had climbed to 38th place in the world, but physical problems hit him again in the beginning of 2017 and forced him to watch on television how veteran players like Nadal and Federer disputed the big titles, while he was unable to reach a semifinals until you reach New York.
“It was worth it”
In the United States eliminated Federer, recalling the feat of 2009, but was stopped in semis by an intractable Nadal. However, the Argentine was already struggling with the majors and this was demonstrated by revalidating the title of Stockholm and reaching the finals of Shanghai and Basel. It was on the verge of accessing the Masters Cup, but his game was almost recovered and, the most punished part, the reverse, ready.
The four wrist operations forced Del Potro to change his natural blow with the backhand to dodge the pain, so that his tremendous right was accompanied by a weak backhand in which the cut had the lead.
With the passage of time was winning in confidence and as demonstrated on Sunday against Federer, is able to drop the blow naturally and hurt.
Already in 2018, the poor result of Australia – eliminated in the third round – has been accompanied by eleven consecutive victories with the titles of Acapulco and Indian Wells, the first 1,000 Masters of his career, in what seems the total resurrection of the phoenix of Tandil.
«It was worth all this sacrifice. I never imagined living all this. I surprise myself and I hope to continue surprising the circuit, “said the Argentine.
With that mentality, that of surprising, Del Potro must strike a blow on the table in the circuit, because, faced with the plague of injuries of the best, Del Potro can find a gap to finally complete a campaign regularly and several successes The second ‘Grand Slam’, keep adding 1,000 Masters and why not, improve your best historical ranking (4), are plausible objectives.
“That twenty years is nothing,” recited Gardel. And not even for Del Potro, who finally smiles at 2018, a year that can be completely his.