After years of injuries, all tennis fans have rejoiced Juan Martin Del Potro’s return to prominence. Can Del Potro win Wimbledon?
Don’t worry about glitches in betting software; online sportsbooks are not mistaken: Juan Martin Del Potro really is sixth favourite for Wimbledon. He beat Stan Wawinka in the second round, making every one take notice. He might not have the easy power that he used to possess, but he still has class.
When he won the US Open in 2009, Del Potro looked a certainty to become a permanent fixture of top echelons of tennis, perhaps creating a “Big Five”. However, he three of the next four majors after his maiden triumph, and it took his a long time to get back to close to his best. Just as he fought his way back, he was beset by setback after setback.
Del Potro back at Wimbledon for the first time in years
Wimbledon 2016 is Del Potro’s first Grand Slam event since crashing out in the second round of the 2014 Australian Open. That’s an incredibly 9 successive major absences, and it many ways Del Potro has won by merely getting back to this stage. When he drew Wawrinka in the second round, many tennis fans were disappointed that it seemed his return to the biggest stage would be so short. When he lost the first set, it seemed he would meekly exit the tournament, not showing his former talent.
However, Del Potro persevered and his backhand, though not as much of a weapon before, provided a test to Wawinka with consistent slices. Wawrinka, who has won two grand slams since Del Potro last appeared at a Grand Slam, did not have his best day. The fourth seed seemed incapable for responding to Del Potro’s tactics, and found himself barely putting up much of a fight in the subsequent three sets: the match ended 3-6 6-3 7-6 6-3.
Can Del Potro win Wimbledon
While nobody thinks the charismatic Argentine is back to his best (and some doubt whether he ever will be) after beating Wawrinka the draw has opened up for him. He faces Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the next round, before facing either Bernard Tomic or Robert Bautista Agut. The latter is who he lost to in the 2014 Australian Open, and a victory against him would be a powerful statement.
If Del Potro were to maintain his level for the next few matches, it really wouldn’t be a surprise if he were to make the semi-finals. For those who bet on sports in the EU, betting on Del Potro to win his quarter could be a worthwhile gamble. However, betting on Del Potro to win Wimbledon may be reserved for those internet betting in Argentina. It would be a sporting upset on a monumental scale if he were to come back from so long injured and challenge the giants of the game.
He battled hard with the likes of Federer, Murray, and Djokovic when he was in his prime, but they have only improved their games while he has spent most of his time injured. Most worryingly, it’s not certain that he’ll ever regain the weapons required to be an elite player. Even if he did, it’s unlikely he’ll have the stamina to play at his top level for the course of the tournament. The biggest hope is that he can play a few more matches in the tournament and stay healthy. We probably won’t see Del Potro win Wimbledon this year, but If he is fit enough to play at the US Open is August, then all tennis fans can be happy.