Nine years ago, the 21-year-old Juan Martin del Potro had become the world no. 4 for the first time but instead of marching towards the very top of men's tennis the Argentinian started to struggle with injuries, undergoing four wrist surgeries that plagued his career and prevented him from achieving so much more in the last seven or eight years.
Less than 24 months ago, Juan Martin was ranked outside the top-1000 but he was capable of making one last push, playing injury-free for the first time in years and finishing just outside the top-10 in 2017, setting his eyes on even bigger results in 2018.
With 47 ATP wins and two ATP titles, Delpo was one of the best players in the season behind us, winning his first Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells and reaching the semi-final at Roland Garros, the quarter-final at Wimbledon and the final at the US Open, his first since 2009 when he won the title in New York after a thrilling win over Roger Federer in the final.
In August, the Argentinian finally managed to make the next step and enter the top-three for the first time in a career, looking to chase more big titles by the end of the season and compete at the ATP Finals for the first time in five years.
His plans were ruined in Shanghai, though, suffering a right knee injury against Borna Coric that forced him to skip the rest of the season, unable to compete in Paris and London but still finishing the year in the top-five for the first time since 2013.
Juan Martin was working hard on the comeback and he started to hit again in the middle of December, skipping the entire January action including the Australian Open but looking good to play at his best again in February, confirming that he will make a return in Delray Beach!
Juan Martin joins Kevin Anderson and Milos Raonic among the title favorites and top seeds, opening his campaign on Tuesday, February 19 at 8 pm local time. The Argentinian will chase his first Delray Beach crown since 2011 when he went all the way on debut, playing in Florida 12 months ago too and losing to an eventual champion Frances Tiafoe in a tight second round encounter.