Delpo Nearing The Top Of The ATP Rankings
Matching his career-high of No. 4 in the ATP Rankings: Add it to the list of milestones that Juan Martin del Potro thought he'd never achieve after enduring three left wrist surgeries from March 2014 to June 2015.
But, following his second Roland Garros semi-final run (2009), del Potro will be back in the Top 4 on Monday when the new ATP Rankings are released.
“[It] is something special for me, for my family, for the people who were behind me all the time. I like to keep surprising myself,” Del Potro said after falling to No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 in Friday's semi-final.
“Any person who follows my recovery knows that when I came back to play tennis, [I] would have never thought I would become No. 4 again. I was feeling that because my body was going through these difficult times. But now I'm here, and I'm enjoying and thanking all these people who didn't let me retire a few years ago. They encouraged me to continue fighting.”
Del Potro was last at No. 4 eight years ago when he spent two weeks, 19 April 2010 to 2 May 2010, at his career-high. This time, it seems likely he will get to spend more than just a couple of weeks inside the Top 5. Del Potro will be defending only 90 ATP Rankings points during the next two months.
The 6'6” Argentine was close to taking a set off Nadal, like the Tandil native's countryman Diego Schwartzman did in the quarter-finals. Del Potro saw six break points in the first set, including two on Nadal's serve from 4-4, 15/40, but the Spaniard erased them all.
“That was my chance of the match. I had a lot of break points. I couldn't make it. Rafa served well, played good points in those break points, and I got unlucky in that moment. Could be different match if I win the first set,” Del Potro said.
“But then he made me run a lot. Intensity is too high the whole match, and I couldn't stay there after the first set... When you don't take your chances against the No. 1 in the world, you're in trouble.”
Del Potro leaves Roland Garros feeling confident about the remainder of his 2018. He's currently No. 4 in the ATP Race To London.
“I did a beautiful tournament, better than expected,” he said, ”and losing against Rafa on his best surface, his best court, I'm quite relaxed about that.”