Rafael Nadal believes that Juan Martin del Potro will be a prominent challenger for the No.1 ranking next season, so long as his wrist stands up to the rigours of the tour
Juan Martin del Potro may have lost successive Davis Cup singles rubbers to David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal last weekend, but the latter believes the Argentine can tear through the top four next season if he stays healthy.
Nadal beat the Tandil native in an engrossing fourth round rubber to clinch victory for Spain and hand Argentina a fourth runner-up finish in the Davis Cup, but the world No.2 saw enough from the former US Open champion to suggest he will be a huge threat in 2012.
“Del Potro has a very high level as a player,” Nadal told reporters in Seville. “For a long time he was giving incredible shots that nobody else can do. He will be a very good player.”
After missing all but three tournaments in 2010 with a wrist injury that required an operation, del Potro played a full season this year, winning 48 of his 66 matches and picking up titles in Delray Beach and Estoril.
And with the 23-year-old having already proved his Grand Slam credentials by winning a five-set battle against Roger Federer in the Flushing Meadows showpiece in 2009, Nadal believes the 6’6” right-hander could even go as far as topping the rankings next year.
“It’s clear that he’s a candidate for No.1,” added the Mallorcan. “He will be amongst the first four players in the world next year. He’s very solid. He will be unstoppable next year if the [wrist] injury allows him.”