It`s been 7 years since Juan Martin del Potro won his maiden Grand Slam title at the 2009 US Open. It was a huge success for the Argentine Tennis player - 20-years-old at that time. He entered into the very elite of men`s tennis using the front door ending Roger Federer's reign in New York considering that the Swiss star won all the 5 previous US Open. Seven years later, following a grueling battle to recover from injuries, del Potro is stepping on the big stage once again.

He has had a great rehearsalsession afew weeks ago in Rio where he clinched the silver medal at the Olympics. The run at the Olympics was for sure a great incentive, as well working as a confirmation of his body being fit again for competing at the highest level. The 27-year-old Argentine made it to the second week at the US Open in a big style, with strong displays of power and skill with the astonishing result of not losing a set in the first 3 matches. And that is something huge for a player who at the end of 2015 was on the verge of retiring from tennis as stated a while ago.

Del Potro has a leverage against Thiem

In the 4th round of men`s singles, del Potro will face Dominic Thiem. The Austrian star is one of the players with the highestascending stars in 2016. As del Potro said, the 23-year-old Austrian will be a toughopponent. Ranked as no.10 in the world, Thiem may well be a hard stone to chew for del Potro. Still, the Argentine has the upper hand as he won the latest clash between them earlier this year on Madrid`s clay.

On their side of the draw, some really big names are likely to arise in the following stages. Stan Wawrinka is a possible opponent for the quarterfinals and moving forward Andy Murray or Kei Nishikori are likely to occur.

The Argentine must keep the current pace

This match has also another stake - a success in the Argentine`s yard means that he will return in the ATP top 100. For a better understandingof the matter, it`s enough to say that he was ranked outside the top 1000 at the beginning of this particular season with barely a handful of points in his pocket.

Besides the fact he earned few hundreds ranking points, the highest improvement is related to his game getting better and better. His backhand is still the weaker spot - on which David Ferrer made a try yesterday, but del Potro seems to find a way to overcome this by disrupting the opponents with his trademark blistering forehand shots. David Ferrer might easily give a statement to support this fact.

It was a very disputed opening set which was decided following a tie-break. With the leading set as a comfort zone, del Potro simply threw away all that negative pressure and put in some great tennis. He won the next two sets without being really challengedby the Spaniard.

With such a great recovery, all that del Potro needs is consistency on a daily basis. And the opportunities are awaiting. After the US Open, the ATP Tour will shift to indoor hardcourt.

If del Potro will play at the current level, is likely that he will be back in the top 20 by the end of the season.

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