As only the second man to beat Roger Federer in a grand slam final, Juan Martin del Potro underlined his credentials as a future world number 1 in New York last night. A big server, he offers a massive challenge to anyone’s return game as he showed against a man with arguably the best return game around. He also possesses a smooth set of ground strokes but it was with neither of these that I was most impressed.
Standing at 1.98m, he is a big guy. This obviously contributes to his serve ability and reach but it is how he is able to move his large frame around the court that was striking. He has great acceleration and fairly solid footwork that when combined with his size makes him a difficult opponent to pass. Although sometimes the position he gets into to hit from the baseline looks a little untidy it is nonetheless effective and is something he has plenty of time to work on. If he betters his movement into his baseline shots he will become more consistent and reduce his unforced errors.
At 20 years old time is on his side and his game will continue to grow and develop as Andy Murray’s has over the last 2 years. If he improves at the same rate it would be a brave person that would bet against him adding to his first grand slam title.