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Why They'll Win, Why They Won't: Juan Martin del Potro

Saturday, August 24, 2013 /by

It was only a few days ago that the 2009 US Open champion seemed to have “dark-horse pick” locked up for the 2013 tournament. He had pushed Novak Djokovic to five sets in the Wimbledon semifinals. He had won the title in Washington, D.C. And he had reached match point against John Isner to get to the final in Cincinnati. Then something went terribly wrong: Del Potro double-faulted and completely collapsed from there. Can someone who caved so quickly really be a contender in Queens? It’s still possible—the big Argentine says he loves playing in the U.S., and he’s a crowd favorite at the Open. But the dark-horse pick seems a little shakier after what happened in Cincinnati.

Why He’ll Win: Del Potro has done it before, in 2009, and he has slowly been working back to his form of that pre-surgery season. He’s also the rare player who owns wins over each of the Big 4.

Why He Won’t: Del Potro doesn’t always love the battle. Unlike the very top guys, his concentration and belief can desert him. One slip like that and he’ll be gone.

Bottom Line: Despite a perplexing loss to Isner in Cincinnati, del Potro remains the most likely player outside the Big 4 to win the US Open.

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