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Michael Taylor 14th Sep 2009 - 2:02

Del Potro’s day will come but not this year

This year's US Open tennis tournament has seen it all with rain delays, the re-emergence of a former world number one and, of course Serena Williams' already infamous outburst - it all makes you wonder whether Juan Martin del Potro can now complete a strange fortnight and end Roger Federer's quest for a sixth straight Open title.

The initial signs certainly looked good as the young Argentine stood, arms raised, in the Arthur Ashe stadium after a sensational straight sets semi-final victory over Rafael Nadal.

Del Potro had played the match of his young career and, while Nadal might not have been at full strength, nothing but positives could be taken away from the 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 mauling - in fact, at that point you would have found nothing but great value in his price of 5/2.

His serve was impressive, his ground strokes were arriving to Nadal just as fast as the ones coming his way and, most importantly for a man who has occasionally had fitness struggles, he only had to stay out on court for just over two hours.

However, all hope was destined to be short lived, when we were all treated to one of the most magnificent Roger Federer performances over recent years against a determined Novak Djokovic.

His response to the high standard del Potro laid down was simply to play at a level that nobody in the world is capable of matching, perhaps including a fully fit Nadal.

The first set was taken on a tie-breaker but that was where any real threat ended, despite a spirited Djokovic performance which would normally have deserved so much more.

Feds displayed grit, style, substance and skill in equal measure and while the self-dubbed 'best shot of his career' may be the memory that lives on, it was his all round game that so strongly hinted at value in the 7/2 about him claiming a third grand slam title this year.

Del Potro will probably rise to the top of the world rankings one day, claiming multiple slam titles along the way including the US Open but against a red-hot Federer, with all his fans and reputation to boot, the 5/2 looks simply unbackable.

In fact, if you rewind a year the similarities between Andy Murray and del Potro are uncanny.

Murray was the young hopeful, Feds was the experienced defending champion, and we all know what happened as the Swiss legend didn't even need to break sweat to see him off.

Del Potro may manage slightly more than Scotland's finest but you still have to think a Roger Federer straight sets victory at 11/8 could pay dividends - for punters, not for William Hill.



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