Delpo Carries Momentum Into Critical Stretch
Juan Martin del Potro’s victory over World No. 8 Kevin Anderson in the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC final is noteworthy for many reasons. It is the seventh time the Argentine has beaten a Top 10 player in a tour-level final. The win also completes a week in which he beat three Top 8 players — the last time anyone has done that at an ATP World Tour event outside of the Nitto ATP Finals was when Grigor Dimitrov raised the trophy in Brisbane last January.
But Del Potro, who will return to No. 8 in the ATP Rankings for the first time since 2 August 2014 on Monday thanks to his first ATP World Tour 500-level triumph since 2013 Basel, does not plan on stopping his ascent anytime soon.
“Winning such an important tournament and beating three opponents in the Top 10 gives me confidence, makes me feel good,” Del Potro said. “But I also have things to improve.”
Past Five Players To Earn Three Top 8 Wins At A Non-Nitto ATP Finals ATP World Tour Event
|Juan Martin Del Potro||Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC||2018|
|Grigor Dimitrov||Brisbane International presented by Suncorp||2017|
|Novak Djokovic||Rolex Paris Masters||2015|
|Novak Djokovic||Internazionali BNL D'Italia||2015|
|Andy Murray||Mutua Madrid Open||2015|
The ‘Tower of Tandil’ wants to continue his march up the ATP Rankings. And with good health as the first two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments of the year in Indian Wells and Miami approach, it is a good opportunity for the Argentine to make his mark.
“I'm having a great tennis moment, and I'm very happy to be able to find myself healthy, physically well,” Del Potro said. “It's something that has always caused me problems, but winning this tournament means a lot.”
Last season, Del Potro faced tough draws at both the BNP Paribas Open and the Miami Open presented by Itaú. He lost to Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, both in the third round, respectively. But instead of entering the swing outside of the Top 30, he will arrive in California back in the Top 10 and with the momentum of three consecutive Top 8 wins.
“It does not change my routine, nor my agenda,” Del Potro said of the victories. “I follow my own path. I know that if I’m physically good I can play as equals against the best. To achieve that, I train myself day by day. So this tournament [in Acapulco] gives me a little more desire to keep improving and practising hard so as not to lose the footsteps of those at the top.”
Del Potro, whose career-best ATP Ranking is No. 4 (11 January 2010), has just 290 points to defend through the Internazionali BNL D'Italia in May, which World No. 5 Alexander Zverev won in 2017. On the other hand, the three players who will be ranked directly ahead of Del Potro on Monday — No. 7 David Goffin, No. 6 Dominic Thiem and No. 5 Alexander Zverev — all have at least 565 more points to defend than him during that same stretch.
ATP Rankings Points To Defend Through ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome
|Player||ATP Rankings Points (5 March 2018)||Points To Defend Through Masters 1000 Rome|
|No. 5 Alexander Zverev||4,540||1,790|
|No. 6 Dominic Thiem||3,810||1,540|
|No. 7 David Goffin||3,280||855|
|No. 8 Juan Martin del Potro||3,200||290|
The now 21-time tour-level champion feels that not only was his Acapulco triumph important for the sake of raising the trophy, but the competition he beat to do it leaves him confident heading into these key tournaments.
“In an [ATP World Tour] Masters 1000, to be a champion you have to beat three opponents of the Top 10. And this tournament [in Acapulco] had a high level,” Del Potro said. “That shows you the great tennis that I played. I’m very happy to win a tournament like this and reach my title No. 21 in Mexico. I will remember it all my life."