Del Potro Is a Serious Threat to Nadal

CHillTennis

Semi-Pro
It's been almost nine years since Juan Martin has been to a grand slam final.

Since the 2010 Australian Open he has been 0-2 in grand slam semi-finals.

But there is a reason why I believe these stats might soon change.

For the first time since 2009 Juan Martin del Potro is in the semi-finals of Roland Garros and while he's going to have to face the greatest clay-court player of all time on Friday.

I believe that he'll have a legitimate chance against Nadal.

Here's why:

1. Del Potro has one of the biggest forehands of all the players on tour and like Soderling before him is capable of taking the racquet out of Nadal's hands. Yes, even on clay. He would have to do this for 3 sets which doesn't seem likely but if the match is played with high humidity then there is a chance for Del Potro.

2. Nadal may have sustained a wrist injury and he would be hard pressed to beat Del Potro at less than 100%.

3. Aside from the other big four members and Stanislas Wawrinka, Del Potro is really the only player that has proven that he can take down Federer or Nadal at this stage in a slam.

Will he be able to do it on Friday?

I would love to get your thoughts.

P.S. If you've enjoyed watching Nadal's matches at Roland Garros this year then you might want to check-out the King of Clay podcast series that covers each of his victories at Roland Garros (including his loss to Robin Soderling in 2009.)

 
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Jonas78

Legend
There is one big question: What is Nadals level right now? Lets be honest, he hasnt really been challenged at FO yet. He was during the first set vs Diego, but i just watched the third set, Diego really outplayed himself. UE after UE on the easiest shots. His level dropped 90%. If Rafa is anywhere near his top level, Delpo is on his way to Helsinki. If not, it could be interesting.
 

Northern

Hall of Fame
It's been almost nine years since Juan Martin has been to a grand slam final.

Since the 2010 Australian Open he has been 0-2 in grand slam semi-finals.

But there is a reason why I believe these stats might soon change.

For the first time since 2009 Juan Martin del Potro is in the semi-finals of Roland Garros and while he's going to have to face the greatest clay-court player of all time on Friday.

I believe that he'll have a legitimate chance against Nadal.

Here's why:

1. Del Potro has one of the biggest forehands of all the players on tour and like Soderling before him is capable of taking the racquet out of Nadal's hands. Yes, even on clay. He would have to do this for 3 sets which doesn't seem likely but if the match is played with high humidity then there is a chance for Del Potro.

2. Nadal may have sustained a wrist injury and he would be hard pressed to beat Del Potro at less than 100%.

3. Aside from the other big four members and Stanislas Wawrinka, Del Potro is really the only player that has proven that he can take down Federer or Nadal at this stage in a slam.

Will he be able to do it on Friday?

I would love to get your thoughts.
I agree. DelPo is a real threat for Nadal right now. Nadal is not playing his best, far from it. Should have skipped clay, like Dodger.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
Del Potro is dangerous of course, as he has the weapons to beat anybody. My opinion of the semi final is that del Potro might be on top for a while, but that Nadal will find a way to win. Nadal in best of 5 sets on clay wears guys down, where they will make mistakes, they will get frustrated and they will be aching physically and mentally. Nadal will wear del Potro down by making him run, and if del Potro starts making errors with his power shots, all the better for Nadal's momentum.
 

Sport

G.O.A.T.
Please, stop searching for Soderling 2.0.

Yes, Del Potro is tall and has a big forehand like Soderling. But Nadal was injured with tendinitis in 2009, he skipped Wimbledon after RG. In 2010, a healthy Nadal defeated easily Soderling.

I think 2009 Del Potro could have defeated 2009 Nadal at RG. Right now? I doubt it.
 
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CHillTennis

Semi-Pro
There is one big question: What is Nadals level right now? Lets be honest, he hasnt really been challenged at FO yet. He was during the first set vs Diego, but i just watched the third set, Diego really outplayed himself. UE after UE on the easiest shots. His level dropped 90%. If Rafa is anywhere near his top level, Delpo is on his way to Helsinki. If not, it could be interesting.
Diego's chances of winning that match went from none to slim when he won the first set. He was able to crush the ball from close to the baseline and that is the only reason that he was able to win that set against Nadal.

Schwartzman made a lot of freaky good shots and Nadal was playing too defensively. Once the match resumed Nadal was able to adjust his court positioning and pushed Diego back. The minute that happened the match might as well have been over because it's impossible for Schwartzman to out-grind Nadal from that far back.

Del Potro is a completely different type of player and has much bigger tools than Diego Schwartzman.
 
OP, your reason #2 has no serious background, I believe.

There are a couple of things that point that Del Potro is one of the few that could possibly present a challenge for Nadal:

1) the biggest FH when on is something that is important everywhere. Even on clay

2) experience: hopefully Juan will be patient and will not go for too much. He has the killer shot, if an opportunity presents itself, but he needs to wait for it

3) counter to Nadal's gamesmanship: Del Potro himself is a time waster, so Nadal will have a hard time applying his usual tactic here, unless he starts rushing Del Potro, and complains about him being too slow

4) movement: Del Potro is moving well for an athlete of his size, so whether or not he is a match for Nadal depends on who makes the other run. Nadal has the advantage of pulling the trigger from difficult positions, so Juan better be prepared with his net game, if he starts to attack. He has to attack though, as Nadal is vulnerable when attacked with a combination of powerful baseline game, and a lot of court coverage.

5) Del Potro must crush those DTL BHs, and, due to his height and his BH he can do it. It will be interesting, if Nadal will try to slice much to "freeze" Del Potro, and take the initiative with the next shot

:cool:
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
It's been almost nine years since Juan Martin has been to a grand slam final.

Since the 2010 Australian Open he has been 0-2 in grand slam semi-finals.

But there is a reason why I believe these stats might soon change.

For the first time since 2009 Juan Martin del Potro is in the semi-finals of Roland Garros and while he's going to have to face the greatest clay-court player of all time on Friday.

I believe that he'll have a legitimate chance against Nadal.

Here's why:

1. Del Potro has one of the biggest forehands of all the players on tour and like Soderling before him is capable of taking the racquet out of Nadal's hands. Yes, even on clay. He would have to do this for 3 sets which doesn't seem likely but if the match is played with high humidity then there is a chance for Del Potro.

2. Nadal may have sustained a wrist injury and he would be hard pressed to beat Del Potro at less than 100%.

3. Aside from the other big four members and Stanislas Wawrinka, Del Potro is really the only player that has proven that he can take down Federer or Nadal at this stage in a slam.

Will he be able to do it on Friday?

I would love to get your thoughts.
Del Potro can be a threat to anyone, but I don't think he can outmanuver Nadal on clay, and clay is slow enough to neutralize Del Potro's power.
Interestingly, last time they play against each other on clay was in 2008.
 

Mustard

Talk Tennis Guru
Del Potro can be a threat to anyone, but I don't think he can outmanuver Nadal on clay, and clay is slow enough to neutralize Del Potro's power.
Interestingly, last time they play against each other on clay was in 2008.
They met on clay in the 2011 Davis Cup final, when Nadal won it for Spain. Del Potro was on fire for a while, but Nadal won in 4 sets.
 
Nadal will win in straights, maybe 9 games total for DelPotro tops.
May very well happen, but if it does, then Nadal was simply unplayable.

We will see, but, of course, all this is a discussion about whether Del Potro can be a serious threat to Nadal, and the answer is "yes".

:cool:
 

Northern

Hall of Fame
Can Delpo kick Nadal's butt at RG the way he kicked Federer butt at the USO? We'll have to wait and see.
 

li0scc0

Hall of Fame
May very well happen, but if it does, then Nadal was simply unplayable.

We will see, but, of course, all this is a discussion about whether Del Potro can be a serious threat to Nadal, and the answer is "yes".

:cool:
DelPotro is no threat to Nadal on clay.
 
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CHillTennis

Semi-Pro
Del Potro can be a threat to anyone, but I don't think he can outmanuver Nadal on clay, and clay is slow enough to neutralize Del Potro's power.
Interestingly, last time they play against each other on clay was in 2008.
That's what people (myself included) said about Robin Soderling before he played Nadal here in 2009.

Del Potro has a game that is big enough to follow the Robin Soderling formula.

Diego Schwartzman at 5'7"? clearly did not and yet he was still able to win a set against Rafael Nadal.

If the conditions are right, Del Potro really has a chance against Nadal. Even on clay.
 

Wander

Hall of Fame
It's a terrible match-up for Del Potro on clay with his backhand weakness. I think his chances of producing an upset are low.

He would have to somehow be able to continually dictate play with his forehand and Nadal is usually much too good at preventing that.
 

Northern

Hall of Fame
^^^ What's wrong with the way he kicked Nadal's butt at USO 09? :rolleyes:
Failed analogy, as Nadal was injured. Also Nadal hadn't even won the USO back then, and Fed was shaping up to be the GOAT at that slam. Of course, things didn't quite work that way for Federer after Nadal improved at the USO and Djokovic also rose. Poor Federer is stuck at the USO now.
 
A

ATPtennisFan

Guest
That's what people (myself included) said about Robin Soderling before he played Nadal here in 2009.

Del Potro has a game that is big enough to follow the Robin Soderling formula.

Diego Schwartzman at 5'7"? clearly did not and yet he was still able to win a set against Rafael Nadal.

If the conditions are right, Del Potro really has a chance against Nadal. Even on clay.
Diego hits big off both wings and has a much more aggressive return of serve and much better movement on clay compared to JMDP.

Hopefully JMDP can find his peak FH form and demolish Nadal but it's an uphill task
 

Sysyphus

Talk Tennis Guru
2. Nadal may have sustained a wrist injury and he would be hard pressed to beat Del Potro at less than 100%.
No he has not. He taped both underarms against Diego to combat sweat, is all. And struggled a bit in the rain. As play resumed today, he was bullying Diego in his usual style.

Nads isn't quite at his best at the moment, but likely only Thiem has a modest realistic chance. Nadal will move Delpo around on clay before boring him into a coma.
 
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True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
Delpo will gank our chains and win a set before Nadal goes all a Vamosing and screaming like a crazy man and puts him away.
 
D

Deleted member 756486

Guest
No he has not. He taped both underarms against Diego to combat sweat, is all. And struggled a bit in the rain. As play resumed today, he was bullying Diego in his usual style.

Nads isn't quite at his best at the moment, but likely only Thiem has a modest realistic chance.
I’m quite confident of Thiem winning, the only thing that concerns me is Thiem hasn’t proven himself on the big stage and he has been poor in Masters finals.

Nadal looks vulnerable though so if Thiem performs at a high level and doesn’t crap his pants then he will win.
 

Gary Duane

G.O.A.T.
It's been almost nine years since Juan Martin has been to a grand slam final.

Since the 2010 Australian Open he has been 0-2 in grand slam semi-finals.

But there is a reason why I believe these stats might soon change.

For the first time since 2009 Juan Martin del Potro is in the semi-finals of Roland Garros and while he's going to have to face the greatest clay-court player of all time on Friday.

I believe that he'll have a legitimate chance against Nadal.

Here's why:

1. Del Potro has one of the biggest forehands of all the players on tour and like Soderling before him is capable of taking the racquet out of Nadal's hands. Yes, even on clay. He would have to do this for 3 sets which doesn't seem likely but if the match is played with high humidity then there is a chance for Del Potro.

2. Nadal may have sustained a wrist injury and he would be hard pressed to beat Del Potro at less than 100%.

3. Aside from the other big four members and Stanislas Wawrinka, Del Potro is really the only player that has proven that he can take down Federer or Nadal at this stage in a slam.

Will he be able to do it on Friday?

I would love to get your thoughts.

P.S. If you've enjoyed watching Nadal's matches at Roland Garros this year then you might want to check-out the King of Clay podcast series that covers each of his victories at Roland Garros (including his loss to Robin Soderling in 2009.)

I'd favor Delpos chances more in a final simply because it's going to be pretty dry on Friday, and that will most likely benefit Nadal.

I'm not ready to believe in a wrist injury yet, but if he pulls out of events after RG, then you will most likely turn out to be right.
 

MichaelNadal

Bionic Poster
It's been almost nine years since Juan Martin has been to a grand slam final.

Since the 2010 Australian Open he has been 0-2 in grand slam semi-finals.

But there is a reason why I believe these stats might soon change.

For the first time since 2009 Juan Martin del Potro is in the semi-finals of Roland Garros and while he's going to have to face the greatest clay-court player of all time on Friday.

I believe that he'll have a legitimate chance against Nadal.

Here's why:

1. Del Potro has one of the biggest forehands of all the players on tour and like Soderling before him is capable of taking the racquet out of Nadal's hands. Yes, even on clay. He would have to do this for 3 sets which doesn't seem likely but if the match is played with high humidity then there is a chance for Del Potro.

2. Nadal may have sustained a wrist injury and he would be hard pressed to beat Del Potro at less than 100%.

3. Aside from the other big four members and Stanislas Wawrinka, Del Potro is really the only player that has proven that he can take down Federer or Nadal at this stage in a slam.

Will he be able to do it on Friday?

I would love to get your thoughts.

P.S. If you've enjoyed watching Nadal's matches at Roland Garros this year then you might want to check-out the King of Clay podcast series that covers each of his victories at Roland Garros (including his loss to Robin Soderling in 2009.)

Thank you for listing all the reasons why a Nadal victory would be epic :)
 

ibbi

Legend
Of course he CAN, Del Potro can beat just about anybody anywhere, and if the forehand is on then he will surely be trouble, but at the same time I would like Rafa's chances of playing on back to back days more than Del Potro's (Nadal played 2 sets today, Del Potro 3, spent about an hour more on court from what I can figure) and if Nadal starts bullying that vulnerability of a backhand then that will cause Delpo plenty of trouble himself.
 

Jonas78

Legend
Diego's chances of winning that match went from none to slim when he won the first set. He was able to crush the ball from close to the baseline and that is the only reason that he was able to win that set against Nadal.

Schwartzman made a lot of freaky good shots and Nadal was playing too defensively. Once the match resumed Nadal was able to adjust his court positioning and pushed Diego back. The minute that happened the match might as well have been over because it's impossible for Schwartzman to out-grind Nadal from that far back.

Del Potro is a completely different type of player and has much bigger tools than Diego Schwartzman.
Well i havent seen the last set, but as i said, imo It was more Diegos level dropping than Nadal raising his. This is nothing new from Diego really, he is very inconsistent. I dont think Rafa is on the level he was last FO, but still the clear favourite.

I really dont know what to expect tomorrow. They have only played clay twice, 2007 and 2011. Obviously It will be tougher to break Delpos serve than Diegos, but Rafa will always get his BP's. The question is If Delpo can threaten Rafa on Rafas serve?
 

Kozzy

Semi-Pro
You just never know. I won't be surprised if Delpo wins - he's always a threat. But my expectation is that Rafa will win (risky bet, I know).
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
That's what people (myself included) said about Robin Soderling before he played Nadal here in 2009.

Del Potro has a game that is big enough to follow the Robin Soderling formula.

Diego Schwartzman at 5'7"? clearly did not and yet he was still able to win a set against Rafael Nadal.

If the conditions are right, Del Potro really has a chance against Nadal. Even on clay.
Soderling is a better mover than Del Potro and has more offensive backhand at this point. And, Soldering has only beaten once out of 4 after his FO win against Nadal.
This isn't to doubt or underestimate Del Potro's capablity to beat Nadal. I think it depends on how healthy Nadal is feeling.
 

Zetty

Hall of Fame
They playing on a hard court randomly? No? It's a done deal bro, he doesn't have the game to beat him on the dirt, hell he couldn't even beat him at the US Open.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
I agree. DelPo is a real threat for Nadal right now. Nadal is not playing his best, far from it. Should have skipped clay, like Dodger.
Nadal, skip clay??? That would be like the Pope skipping Mass, the Chief Rabbi eating a bacon butty, President Trump refusing to tweet, a pig refusing to roll in muck, 90s Clay admitting that, compared to today's players, all 90s players were MUGS (including Sampras). It would even be like...wait for it.....Federer skipping grass!!!

The world would have to stop spinning on its axis before Nadal would skip playing on clay!!!
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
1. Del Potro has one of the biggest forehands of all the players on tour and like Soderling before him is capable of taking the racquet out of Nadal's hands. Yes, even on clay.
But there's one problem: Del Po doesn't meet the ball early and Sod did during that match. Soderling was extremely aggressive and stood in, robbing Rafa of time. He met the ball far earlier than JMDP. Del Po is also too defensive in his court positioning. It's almost unimaginable he could play a "I'll rush Rafa" strategy over 4-5 sets. He's just too passive in his mentality against Rafa.

Another point is that Rafa won't allow Del Po to hit many FH's. Nearly every ball will go high to his BH. And when Del Po gets leg weary, he stops running around his FH and hits almost exclusively slice (or weak topspin) BH's. Rafa will eat that up.

Del Po will be lucky to win 8 games tomorrow.
 
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BringBackWood

Professional
Anyone noticed Delpo doesn't hit many winners nowadays? He had 3 FH winners in total near the end of the match today. Maybe Cillic was leaking so many errors was the cause, but still I was surprised.
 

CHillTennis

Semi-Pro
OP, your reason #2 has no serious background, I believe.

There are a couple of things that point that Del Potro is one of the few that could possibly present a challenge for Nadal:

1) the biggest FH when on is something that is important everywhere. Even on clay

2) experience: hopefully Juan will be patient and will not go for too much. He has the killer shot, if an opportunity presents itself, but he needs to wait for it

3) counter to Nadal's gamesmanship: Del Potro himself is a time waster, so Nadal will have a hard time applying his usual tactic here, unless he starts rushing Del Potro, and complains about him being too slow

4) movement: Del Potro is moving well for an athlete of his size, so whether or not he is a match for Nadal depends on who makes the other run. Nadal has the advantage of pulling the trigger from difficult positions, so Juan better be prepared with his net game, if he starts to attack. He has to attack though, as Nadal is vulnerable when attacked with a combination of powerful baseline game, and a lot of court coverage.

5) Del Potro must crush those DTL BHs, and, due to his height and his BH he can do it. It will be interesting, if Nadal will try to slice much to "freeze" Del Potro, and take the initiative with the next shot

:cool:
You could very well be right about the injury being bogus.

However, even if we do look past the possibility of a wrist injury, Del Potro is going go into this match with presumably less pressure than Nadal.

Nobody is expecting Del Po to win and yet he's got the weapons to really trouble Nadal.

I watched some of his match against Cilic and Del Potro was hitting the ball well.
 

I Am Finnish

Talk Tennis Guru
Anyone noticed Delpo doesn't hit many winners nowadays? He had 3 FH winners in total near the end of the match today. Maybe Cillic was leaking so many errors was the cause, but still I was surprised.
after when del Potro broke cilic in the third set cilic turned into an error machine (+70)
 
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