Juan Martin Del Potro: The Rafa Killer?

U. S.Correspondent IJuly 13, 2009

Imagine building a player with the perfect repertoire of weapons and attributes. You come more or less to Roger Federer.

Now, for the sake of intellectual pursuit, build a player with the attributes to beat the perfect player and you have Rafael Nadal, the best player in the world.

The player against whom you can have no game plan, other than the hard, brutal work necessary to win every point; and at the big points, trying to out-compete the player with the mental toughness and the fire of a Spanish bull.

Tennis isn't objective. They thought the same of Mr. Federer before the kid from Mallorca arrived.

There is another kid, who has arrived, from the clay courts of Tandil, Argentina.

At barely 20, he has reached the No. 5 ranking in the world. He also has shown the underrated ability to make tennis writers and commentators, non discreetly, notice how much he improved from his last tournament.

This quality is consistent with most up and coming young players but it is not what makes the young Argentinian special. He has been known as a future Grand Slam winner since he was 14.

What makes young Palito singular is the type of game he has.

If you were to ask the same question asked of Mr.Federer, above, about Mr. Mallorca, you would get Juan Martin Del Potro, the youngest player in the top 5 in the world.

Among the most powerful first serves in the game: Check.

The third most powerful second serve in the game, after Karlovic and Roddick: Check.

Enough power of both Forehand and Backhand to overpower Nadal: Check.

An offensive baseline game with an instinctive ability to come to net and finish: Check.

One of the best most efficient movers on tour: Check.

Very underrated ability to punish returns of serve, especially the second serve: Check.

And most importantly, one of the tallest players on tour at 6'6", and not bothered by the high Nadal topspin: Big Check.

Mental toughness: Maybe.

Rafa Killer: Maybe.

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