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There's no reason to dislike Juan Martin del Potro. He is a good competitor, acts professionally and looks the part of a rugged champion.
But once again, the talented but often injured Argentine is everybody's favorite to challenge for a Grand Slam title. Are there tennis fans who would list him as a favorite over Federer and Murray?
Apparently the 2009 U.S. Open is still branded on his chest. (Why Nike does not somehow turn this into a cash cow may be one of the failed marketing opportunities in tennis history.) In truth, 2009 is looking more like a fluke than a foundation.
Granted, he suffered a wrist injury, four years ago, but at this point he is what he is. He is a second-tier star who has not consistently challenged for Grand Slam titles, nor formed any real rivalry with Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and Murray.
His list of accomplishments hides behind the shadows of his potential. Since 2009, he has not appeared in another Grand Slam final. He has never won a Masters 1000 tournament.
Del Potro is at his best when he is fresh. He likes to blast away from the baseline when his opponents allow him to attack. However, he is more limited if he must change strategies, use more variety of pace and match the defensive intensity of the elite players.
It's also fair to question if he can develop a greater championship focus and aura. His personality is more relaxed, but there are times he seems to shrink away when the heat is on.
Maybe this time it will be different. If not, the tennis world can always recycle him to be the dark horse at the French Open.