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Del Potro Intent On Being Part Of The Club In 2013

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del Potro© Getty ImagesJuan Martin del Potro won a career-high 65 matches during the 2012 season.

After coming up one set shy of reaching the title match at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, World No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro shared his goal of competing alongside the ATP’s top trio of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray in the 2013 season.

“Being in the semi-finals in this tournament is so big for me,” said the 24-year-old Argentine. “It’s still Federer, Djokovic, Murray and me. It was the same four players in the Olympics, and in the US Open - the last Grand Slam - was Murray and Djokovic in the final. So those big names are in every big tournament. Sometimes I can be part of them. It’s going to be my big challenge for the next year.”

The 2009 US Open champion once again proved his ability to defeat the world’s best this season. He beat Djokovic in the bronze medal match at the London 2012 Olympics, and posted consecutive wins over Federer two weeks ago in the Swiss Indoors Basel final and on Saturday at The O2. (He has not played Murray since 2009.)

“These kind of matches give me illusions for the next season,” he shared. “I beat Roger yesterday. I was close to beating Nole today. In the end, they are too good for me, but I’m getting closer every day.

“Maybe it could be my big challenge for next year, my big goal, trying to fight at all Grand Slams with this group. They win all the Grand Slams: Novak, Federer, Rafa and now Murray. I would like to be part of those names in the Grand Slams.”

Del Potro reached the quarter-finals at three of the four majors and won a career-high 65 matches in 2012. In addition to his bronze medal, he captured four ATP World Tour titles, including back-to-back triumphs at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna and in Basel over the final weeks of the season to clinch his first trip to The O2 since his runner-up finish to Nikolay Davydenko in 2009.

“It was so nice for me,” he said of his experience this week. “All the crowd was full for every singles match and doubles matches. The players love that. We enjoy when many people come to see our games and enjoy the games. I have big fans from Argentina who came to watch me here. It’s amazing. I think this tournament is so good to enjoy, and the crowd was fantastic with all the players.

“Now I close the year at a very good level. I have been among the four last persons in this tournament, so that means a lot for me. I’m glad with my year.”

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