Little by little, the big Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, 29, is regaining his lost status. A former world No. 4 and 2009 US Open champion, he's had some awful years struggling with injuries, surgeries, and lengthy recoveries. Last year, he went on to win the ATP 250 event in Stockholm, Sweden after several years of complete drought. Twelve months later, he makes another tremendous run there to defend his title. del Potro has been having a good time lately. Since that US Open semifinal, his game seems to have found a new dimension. He made it to the semis at Shanghai where he pushed Roger Federer close to the edge.

Now, with another title under his belt, his hopes can grow bigger for the upcoming season. Currently ranked 19th in the world, he can re-enter the top 10 in the first part of 2018 when he has nothing to defend.

Del Potro completely outplayed Grigor Dimitrov

The defending champion in Stockholm, del Potro was seeded fourth in the main draw while Dimitrov was the highest seed. As a result, they received a bye in the round of 32. The Bulgarian didn't drop a single set en route to the final as he got past Jerzy Janowicz, Mischa Zverev, and Fabio Fognini. On the other side, del Potro lost a single set in the semifinal stages against Fernando Verdasco when he had to recover from a set down to top the Spaniard.

Entering the final, del Potro was leading by 5-2 in head to head stats, but Dimitrov had won their previous two meetings (Beijing and Cincinnati on outdoor hard). Currently ranked eighth in the world, Dimitrov was broken once in the opening set. It was enough for the del Potro to put the act away by 6-4. The second set saw a similar story with del Potro leading the action while the Bulgarian was struggling to find his proper rhythm.

Another break of serve and then a hard-earned hold of serve gave the ultimate leverage to the Argentine player who raced to an inevitable win. This win will cement his spot inside the top 20 while easing his way onto the top 10.

The ATP Finals are, at least theoretically, within reach

Although the gap is huge, Juan Martin del Potro can clinch the last spot that will grant him entrance at the O2 Arena where the Nitto ATP Finals are scheduled.

But, for the moment, he is far from this goal as others have a better position to clinch it. Pablo Carreno Busta, Sam Querrey or Kevin Anderson are much closer to secure a spot for London. A miracle is what del Potro needs to book tickets for the Finals. He would have to win the last Masters 1000 of the season and to hope that his competition will get in a total slump.

But that's the price of having a late start on the season. The Argentine skipped the first two months of the 2017 season and once he resumed playing his tennis output wasn't that great.