Juan Martin Del Potro Could Be Back This Month!
by Tom Gainey | March 3rd, 2015, 10:31 am

Following a second surgery on his left wrist in January, Juan Martin del Potro is now confident of returning to tennis this month, at either Indian Wells or more like Miami.

Via Reuters, del Potro had this to say yesterday:

“I’m not going drop my arms or surrender because of an injury. If my hand responds well, I’ll come back as soon as possible but that depends exclusively on my hand, it will decide my return,” Del Potro told a packed news conference.

“I’m in full recovery, I’m going faster than the time frame the doctor set for me as a goal and that has me enthused and that’s why I believe my return will be very soon.”

Del Potro confirmed that he and friend Marin Cilic are entered into the Indian Wells doubles, but that’s only if both are healthy.

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39 Comments for Juan Martin Del Potro Could Be Back This Month!

brando Says:

“I’m not going drop my arms or surrender because of an injury.”: love Juan Martin’s mindset. Had he not been a injury prone player he would have been no.1 and multiple slam winner since he has the game and mentality. Fedal certainly rate him way higher than a 1 slam winner. As for his unfortunate reality: best not rush it delpo. I completely understand your eagerness to return, but this is a dicey situation. Return only not when the wrist is healed. But when it’s strengthened to a absolute peak. And then cut your schedule down to the bare minimum. Conditioning and less is more is what you should do.

Emily Says:

@brando, agree in terms of managing his schedule. He did cut back in 2013, but he should focus on the Masters and Grand Slams. He has enough smaller titles, but has yet to win a MA 1000.
He’s said many times how frustrating it was last year to watch the results at the majors, since he could have definitely won another slam. He should focus on his health and hopefully the results will come, but it may take time.

SG1 Says:

If the health thing is there, you have to suspect that the results will follow. Tennis missed Rafa but it’s missed DelPo as well. His explosive game is a challenge for anyone on any surface. Let’s hope his wrists hold up for the next 5 or 6 years so he can pick up some more big trophies.

Okiegal Says:

I’m no doctor but if he starts hitting the ball just like always, won’t he undo what the surgery fixed? What I remember most about the USO he won was the extra hard hitting….I mean it was unreal.
Was not surprised by the wrist injury. I hope he comes back strong, tennis needs him. That USO was my favorite of all time. Yeah, hope he will be healthy for a long time…He has had his woes, poor guy.

sienna Says:

Tournament will be remembered for Roger tweener to reach MP in semi.

Hippy Chick Says:

Best of luck Delpo and to Emily,this is one player whos return i am looking forward to….

chris ford1 Says:

I hope Brando is not that overcome with enthusiasm that the next thing he says is Delpo would be GOAT if he wasn’t injured all the time, besides being a surefire #1 and a multi-Slam winner.

Juan Martin is very good and I will always remember the edge of your seat thriller against Djokovic in the 2013 Wimbledon semis that had me cheering both guys. Could have gotten another few Slams. The only player that can trash all 3 -Fed, Nole, and Rafa in a match. Just never a #1. But he could have been and still can be, in my opinion – a successful great in a time of the 3 all-time greats.

Thangs Says:

Nole is lucky beneficiary to hold 2 slams. Its not his fault. But, absence of Delpo and not in form Nadal, poor Murray are his rivals.

Ya, I know he beat Federer and Murray to win those slams. But, delpo was one of his serious threat.

elina Says:

Same reason could be argued for Federer being No. 2 at the moment.

That said, the tennis Federer displayed against Djokovic was simply breathtaking in Dubai (as well as I’ve ever seen him play), albeit on his favourite surface best of three. To comprehensively beat the No. 1 player in the world six years younger just shows the quality of this guy.

But these two guys are capitalizing ATM with Nadal no where near his abilities.

For some reason, many people believe Roger’s game creates more difficulties for Nole than anyone else. However, there is only one player with a positive record against Djokovic since 2012 beginning (HINT: it’s not Roger).

courbon Says:

So Novak was lucky because Delpo is not around ( Thang post ) and Novak is lucky because Nadal is injured ( Elinas posts )……hmmmmm
What about this then guys:
Everybody are lucky ( whole lot-Rafa, Roger, Delpo etc…) that Novak did not earlier (lets say 2008 )realise he had gluten allergie, otherwise he would have 15GS by now!!! (-: Sound silly?Off course is silly, so it does your claims.We can go forever in that logic:
Rafa was lucky that Novak was mentally weak in 2013
Novak was lucky that Murray was injured in 2014
Roger was lucky that his main rival at the start was Rodick
Rafa was lucky that Nole and Murray have developed so late
and so on, and so….I can write all night
Everybody are sometimes lucky and sometimes unlucky…(-:

and regarding Delpo, Okiegal has a point:
You hit the ball like a Hulk and you win US Open, but your wrist will pay the price

chris ford1 Says:

elina -kei nishikori??

Hippy Chick Says:

^LOL Ifs,buts,couldves,wouldves,shouldves,if my sister were a bloke,she would be my brother,pointless,silly,silly,silly,you make your own luck,and you have what you have,the rest is of no relevance,Hi Courbon how are you?nice to see you here….

courbon Says:

HC, your sister is really a bloke????

I’m fine …very tired, I ‘v been working some stupid hours last two months so I go to bed like a chicken, around 10pm.Apart from that, is all good

Giles Says:

HC. How do you “make your own luck”? Do tell us please.

elina Says:

No, I did not say Nole was lucky. He is been the world’s best player over the last two years. I just don’t think his lead at No. 1 would be as great as it is if Nadal was healthy. No big deal.

I doubt it would make any real difference in his slam results over the last three slams with a possible (not necessarily probable) exception being Australia. While he may not have been a favourite, I think he would have made it closer than Murray did.

Not lucky, just capitalizing where they should (like any great player should)/

Brando Says:

@Chris Ford:

What’s wrong with my comment?

- Delpo winning more Grand Slams:

Why not? His game and mentality is genuinely brilliant that in this game of IF I see no real reason at all that makes me think he would not have done so had he not been injury prone.

A guy who blasts Nadal in the SF and takes on a on form Federer who was only 28 in a Grand Slam final has what it takes to win more Slams.


- Number 1:

He won the USO. So his game on HC is stellar.

He had Rafa in all kinds of bother on Clay in DC. And oh: he also pushed Federer to 5 sets in a RG final when he was only a youngster. So he can hang with the best on clay.

Grass? Carrying a injury he reached Wimbledon SF, pushed Novak to the limit in 5. And oh: he also had Grass GOAT Fed in real trouble in the Olympics SF. So yeah: again he can on produce v the best on Grass.

Indoor? Beat Fed and reached WTF = he can play Indoors too.

So there is enough evidence there to suggest:

Del Potro is a all court player, capable of reaching the business end on all surfaces, and can trouble all the best at such a stage. Hence:

All court game + amazing talent + big match mentality + not afraid of best players + can beat them in big ones as he has done so = A number 1 contender.

Hence: in this game of IF i think he could have been number 1 had he not been injury prone.


This is a IF game. There is no correct answer as we are all guessing. Yet: I believe that Del Potro’s talent, temperament is enough for me to reasonably believe he would have won more slams and been a number 1 had he not been injury prone.

I don’t see why that’s a inflammatory statement to make.

Brando Says:

Re Novak Djokovic:

I don’t think he (nor others really have benefited much from Nadal’s issue). Just think about it rationally:

- Wimbledon: Rafa was fully fit. Out in R16. Now as a Rafa fan I say considering Rafa’s plight on Grass post 2011 I think anyone of Federer or Djokovic would have beat him. So there is no benefit here IMO.

- AO: Would a fully fit, firing Nadal have troubled Novak seriously? 2012 tells us of course. But even then that is not enough to say Novak benefited here. Reality is: Novak is a king at AO so he can beat anyone IF he’s playing his best. It’s on his racquet on Rod Laver Arena: Rafa or whoever across the net know that.

- WTF: LOL- we all the know the deal here with Rafa.

The ONLY place is USO and Novak did not win that so you cannot hold anything against him there.

Hence: I think that is a very false belief. But ultimately:

It always is. As Nadal that very recently:

In Tennis there is NO IF’s. It is what it is and that’s the end of it.

I agree with him.

courbon Says:

My apologise Elina, read your post in a rush.Point taken and you clarify your point nicely.
I guess, the ^player with positive H2H against Novak since 2012 would be Nadal, right? Well, no shame in that

courbon Says:

Brando:Fully agree with you.Off course, they all benefit from each other absences or injuries but that is life. If Rafa was not injured so often he would maybe have 20GS but then…if he was not injured, he would not be called Rafael nadal, so its all very relative.Rogers mono, murrays injuries, Novaks allergies before 2011, delpos wrist….it is all part of Tennis Universe.

elina Says:

No worries courbon!

I believe Nole has a real shot at the calendar slam more so than any other player has had in quite some time IMO.

Yes no shame in that, and 2011 or 2010 to present, Novak had a positive record against Rafa as he did Federer.

My point was on perception (my own included) that Federer troubles Nole more than Nadal (whereas the numbers don’t really support that claim to any great degree.

In fact, prior to 2012, Nole has a winning h2h against both guys going back as far as 2009 to present day.

Brando Says:


Agree fully C.

The IF game is ultimately a waste of time, since it’s all conjecture, speculation, guess work which means nothing in the face of reality.

And to be honest as a Nadal fan I am glad he had the Djokovic problem since it forced him to improve as a player. Novak elevated Nadal as a player, tactician since otherwise he’d still be losing.

He’s made him more aggressive, more willing to move forward, get closer to the baseline, hit more attacking shots etc.

He’s the ONE who forced Rafa to assess his game, look to improve it if he wants to keep winning and whilst I did not like all the beatdowns Rafa had to collect from Nole:

I am grateful that he he forced Rafa to be more attacking, aggressive than he was previously. I enjoy the post 2011 Nadal moreso than the pre 2011 Rafa gamewise.

And I think that’s because Nole forced Rafa to up his level, get more aggressive and his game more complete.

Rafa’s tennis, his game has improved due to Novak and all the questions he’s asked of Rafa way more than it would have been had Novak not existed in his time.

courbon Says:

@ elina:
Perceptions are very complex.I, always thought that Delpo has lots of wins against Novak but H2H is 11:3.It feels like it should be 9:7 but relity is, Potro beat Novak 3 times only…

I think tennis blog community always makes assumptions on previous couple of months.So, Novak beaten rafa recently reads like-Novak has not a problem with Rafa ( lets repeat that in a couple of months during clay season…)
Just read comments on all blogs and it is like this:For example- if Novak does not win next 6 tournaments ( up to Wimby ) comments will be-’ so much of great 2015 for Novak…weak Novak…bla, bla… and then he wins Wimbledon for example , suddenly he has two GS and that is Novak’s best year since 2011.
Rafa-imagine if Rafa does not win RG????Comments:
I told you so, he is finished… End of Nadal… He should retire…. but then he can win US Open and AO back to back and the Bull is back.
Most people look only last 2,3 months and make their predictions-it is just like that.
Have a good evening, speak to you soon.

courbon Says:

Brando/ and Novak keeps saying that he owns his success to Roger and Rafa, because they made him better player…
those guys are on different level from all of us…

jane Says:

courbon, enjoyed your post at 3:25. i think it’s fair and your tone is always humourous too. :) i also happen to think you’re right about hypotheticals.

jane Says:

“Nole is lucky beneficiary to hold 2 slams. Its not his fault. But, absence of Delpo and not in form Nadal, poor Murray are his rivals.

Ya, I know he beat Federer and Murray to win those slams. But, delpo was one of his serious threat.”

you kind of contradict yourself there thangs. he did beat fed and murray to win his last two slams, and also wawrinka (AO) and cilic (wimbledon) along the way.

it’s a whirligig to argue as such anyhow, because someone could say rafa was lucky in 2010 to face berdych in the wimbledon final, or to have a wonderful us open 2010 draw until the finals. or fed was luck because rafa lost and he won the french in 2009, etc.

the “lucky” argument can go on forever.

the truth is, if you look at the records, nole has played and beat far more top 10 players than most. he’s not often been super lucky.

here’s a breakdown that i read elsewhere. i think someone had posted it at tennis.com once.

From 2004 to 2007 when Fed was in his prime and won 11 grand slams, he beat top ten players as follows:
2004 – 16
2005 – 15
2006 – 17
2007 – 16
For a total of 64 Top 10 wins in 4 years.

During his best years of 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013, during which he won 8 GS, Rafa beat top 10 players as follows:
2008 – 17
2010 – 11 (he won 3 slams this year)
2011 – 16
2013 – 24
For a total of 68 Top 10 wins in 4 years.

From 2011 to 2014, during which time Nole won 6 slams, he had top ten wins as follows:
2011 – 21
2012 – 24
2013 – 22
2014 – 20 For a total of 87 Top 10 wins.

Okiegal Says:

I remember when DelPo beat Rafa at Shanghai, he was shell shocked. I can just see him looking up at the umpire during change over and he was shaking his
head like I can’t do anything to counter attack this guy…..Rafa was at a loss. Then came 2014 and DelPo went on wrist walkabout. Yes maam, he was a force to be reckoned with……just saying….but ifs do not come into play in sports. There is no place for if, Rafa spot on.

Okiegal Says:

@Courbon 3:25

Enjoyed that comment. I’m glad you’re posting….always a delight to read your thoughts on issues. Don’t stay away, okey dokey?? :)

Matador Says:

“If doesnt exist in sports”
Rafael Nadal dixit.

Hippy Chick Says:

Courbon i doubt Rafa would actually win the USO/AO if he didnt win the FO first,he seems to gain confidence by winning at RG and builds the season around clay and winning at RG,and loses confidence by losing at RG ala 2009,it would be interesting to see how he does bounce back should that happen,and a first time for everything i suppose,but i certainly like your summary….

Margot Says:

90% perspiration 10% inspiration. Doubt if luck has much, if anything, to do with winning.

Emily Says:

You can dissect every slam win and see what could have been, if only this player had pulled off the 5-setter or the draw had been different or so-and-so wasn’t injured. I think players regularly acknowledge that luck plays a part in their success, both during a match and an entire tournament. I know I’m guilty of constantly insisting that if this little thing had gone differently, this player would have won instead. I don’t think you can claim that any player didn’t have the cards fall their way at one time or another.

@Okiegal, I still have that Shanghai match b/w Delpo and Rafa on my DVR, b/c I’ve still never seen someone hit Rafa off the court like that, and you’re right about his shocked facial expressions. If Delpo had stayed healthy (I know, if, if, if…), I think his H2H against Novak would be better. I watched a lot of those matches and they were all very close. That was definitely a rivalry in the making. Unless Novak is at his best, Delpo can really expose his weaknesses and bully him around the court. It’s the aggressive game that can work against Nole, which Rafa realized. I miss the Novak/Delpo matches after their fantastic QF at the UO in 2012 and, of course, the classic Wimby semi.

I’m still really glad that he beat him in the Olympics match when Delpo won the bronze. After losing that heartbreaker to Roger, he was able to come back and win a medal for his country. I hope he gets a Davis Cup b/c that also is obviously important to him and he’s had some tough losses there too. Interesting debate here, as well, but maybe Delpo will get some of that magical luck soon.

jane Says:

actually emily, the reason nole has such a good h2h against delpo is that he mutes that aggression with defense. notice delpo has only 3 wins over nole, but other than fed, delpo has played nole the most. you could just as easily argue that delpo would have a better h2h with rafa if they played more and if he’d stayed healthy

5-2 murray/delpo
15-5 fed/delpo
8-4 rafa/delpo
11-3 nole/delpo

personally, while the aggressive game can work against nole, i actually think it’s mixing things up more that works best, like fed coming to net, and players offering a lot of slice etc. usually, nole can work out a way to win aggressive baseline players like delpo.

jane Says:

i’d also argue that what rafa figured out against nole were different tactics, such as hitting his serves to nole’s forehand – something fed used explicitly in dubai – and also rafa using the forehand down the line more so nole couldn’t spread open the court with his backhand out down the line when rafa went crosscourt with the forehand. in other words, rafa and fed use specific tactics rather than strictly aggression.

not sure if anyone ever reads craig o-shaunessy’s brain game pieces, but they’re excellent analyses methinks.

Emily Says:

The players that beat Nole do need to acknowledge his incredible defensive skills and what they have to do to stay w/ him before going for their shots. You’re right Jane in that Roger and Rafa seem to have changed their game in order to use Novak’s tactics against him. It just means you have to stay in those rallies, show him different shots, and seize those chances while denying Novak any.

Roger and Fed have used this strategy successfully, but the reason Novak and delpo have had close matches can really come down to the ability to hit outright winners. Both Stan and Delpo (and even Andy in that 2nd set) will get into rallies and then just unload for a winner. It doesn’t always work, and the shots have to be perfect, but that is what I meant when I said power can sometimes diffuse Nole’s defensive skills. If Andy could’ve done that for more than a set in both the UO and AO, he might’ve been successful, but that’s not his game.

Okiegal Says:

@Emily…..Thanks for the feedback…..trust me…
I don’t want a re-watch of that one! LOL. I will never forget it. Rafa had no answers that day. But I do remember when watching DelPo in any match, I just knew his wrist was in grave danger. I realize there are lots of hard hitters out there, but DelPo is OTT. I wish him the best……TENNIS NEEDS HIM. I love to watch this guy play and hope he gets straightened out.

I like your and Jane’s insight to their match ups. The strategies used to win. That is so helpful and of much interest to me. Having never played the game, I’m at a disadvantage in the strategy department, but I’m learning!


jane Says:

yeah, it’s always good to just talk about the tennis! enjoying the discussion too emily and okie. :)

KatH Says:

Yes, Delpo is a great guy and almost universally popular. Yes Delpo has had a tough time with injuries – as everyone knows – but to assume he’d be No.1 and a multi-slam winner if this hadn’t happened OTT. At his prime (before injuries) he won a bronze medal at the last Olympics and one slam. Maybe he could have won many more but you can’t say for certain he would (e.g. Brando). Agree with Chrisford 1 (except for his view on Nishikori – a great player yes – solid in top 10 or even top 5 – but never anything more than a 1 Slam winner – based on his fragility – not his skill which is quite stunning).

A lot of good wishes to Delpro – it’s a jungle out there.

chris ford1 Says:

KatH – My mentioning Kei was not as a multi-Slam winner, as a response to Elina on only one player with a pos H2H against Djoker since 2012. 3-2, I thought, but I was wrong. Nole leads that H2H.

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