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2009 champion del Potro was considered a dark horse entering the tournament. The fact that he received a dream draw only helps his claim.
His first match is a gimme, against Italian Filippo Volandri, a veteran Italian whose ranking peaked at No. 27 and now, nearing the end of his career, has sunken to No. 86. Although Volandri made a shock semifinal run in Belgrade, he is not comfortable on hard courts.
The Argentine continues his run with Slovakian journeyman Karol Beck and most likely No. 11 seed Gilles Simon. Although Simon is ranked higher, del Potro took him out in straight sets at Wimbledon, and his game is much better suited for hard courts.
Given that del Potro takes out Simon, he will either get hot home favorite John Isner or injured world No. 6 Robin Soderling.
No matter the result, the match will take a toll on these players, as big-serving Isner's matches tend to go the distance.
Isner and delPo both play big-hitting tennis, and the Argentine has a much higher degree of it; if lady luck gives him that, del Potro, who claims a 3-0 head-to-head lead, will progress into the quarters.
Soderling has had injury issues and hasn't played on hard-court since February. If he doesn't pull out or lose earlier, his run will end against the Argentine.
Until the quarterfinals, Juan Martin shouldn't really suffer any bumps in the road, until he gets a likely encounter with number four seed and second favorite Andy Murray. The Brit holds a 5-1 advantage, and won when the two met in the New York quarterfinals three years ago.
The fight should be a great one if we get this match, and although Murray will enter as the favorite, at his best del Potro would give him a run for his money.
If he wins, of course, many more tough matches are to follow. The most realistic result is a quarterfinal loss, but since the draw opens up nicely, he could have the tank full for his quarterfinal encounter.