Juan Martin del Potro’s Return to Clay Court Tennis Five Points

del Potro

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com

Juan del Potro’s comeback continues this clay season after the Argentine made his appearances in two upcoming tournaments official. The Tennis Review looks ahead to the 2009 US Open Champs clay schedule and reviews some of the Argentine’s highlights on the red stuff.

del Potro made the announcement on twitter and facebook

del Potro let his fans know on April 6th he was playing back on the clay via the tweet below.

On April 14th, del Potro announced he would be playing in Munich and Madrid and was pleased to be able to commit to two consecutive tournaments for the first time since his come back which started back at Delray Beach.

del Potro has had great success on the clay. His serve is big enough to hit through the court and the surface rewards his aggressive ball striking, particularly on his famous forehand, arguably, the best on the ATP tour.

In addition, the extra time the surface gives him compensates for any weaknesses movement-wise.

del Potro will also be able to run round his backhand, which has been his weaker side since coming back from wrist injury, and hit his formidable inside out forehand. 

Check out the clip below of del Potro practising on clay.

del Potro will compete in Munich and Madrid

del Potro is 9-3 on the Madrid clay courts, reaching the semi-finals of the blue clay event in 2012 where he lost to Tomas Berdych in a match featuring some formidable baseline exchanges.

Watch highlights of Berdych vs del Potro in the Madrid ’12 semis below.

In 2009, he also made the Madrid semis, beating Berdych, Wawrinka and Murray before losing to Federer.

In Munich, del Potro has only competed once, in 2008, beating Arnaud Clement and Igor Andreev before losing to Younes El Aynnaoui.

Overall, del Potro has a 62-24 record on clay and it is the surface on which he has his highest winning percentage of 72.1.

The Argentine won his first ever match on the surface, at Vina del Mar 2006 where, ranked 159, he defeated 117th ranked Albert Portas 6-2, 6-2. He also played his first six career ATP tournament on clay courts.

del Potro has won 4 clay events in his career.

The Argentine won Stuttgart and Kitzbuhel in 2008 and Estoril in 2011 and 2012.

Stuttgart, in 2008, was del Potro’s first ever ATP final and he beat Richard Gasquet in straight sets in the final. He won Kitzbuhel the week after, defeating Jurgen Melzer for the title.

del Potro defeated Fernando Verdasco for his first Estoril title in 2011, (he beat Robin Soderling in the last eight), and beat Richard Gasquet for the 2012 trophy.

del potro

Photo courtesy of www.taringa.net

del Potro has not played on clay for three years

His last match was in Rome 2013 in the round of 16 where he suffered a 4-6, 6-7 defeat to Benoit Paire.

del Potro has been to the Roland Garros semis once.

In 2009, del Potro reached the semi-finals of Roland Garros where he lost to Roger Federer in five sets after leading by two sets to one.

Watch highlights of del Potro’s 2009 clash with Federer in the video below.

del Potro is 12-6 in the French Capital, reaching the quarter-finals the last time he played in 2012. Once again, he lost to Federer in five sets, this time after leading by two sets to love.

A last eight finish in Paris looks unlikely for del Potro right now, but with a player of del Potro’s clay court skills and slam winning pedigree, anything could happen.

If del Potro can get his game going in Munich and Madrid, and enter a couple of other events, he could play himself into form and challenge the game’s current top ranked players on a surface the Argentine has given us plenty of thrills on in the past, thrills we hope he can provide us with again in the coming months.

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Christian Deverille

Christian Deverille is a tennis writer with a diploma in Freelance Sports Writing from the London School of Journalism. He loves all things tennis, most of all the Federer and del Potro forehands.
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