Toni Nadal: 'Injuries did not allow del Potro to become world no. 1'

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Toni Nadal: 'Injuries did not allow del Potro to become world no. 1'

In a column for El Pais, Toni Nadal praised Juan Martin del Potro's fighting spirit and evolution. The Argentinian defeated Rafael Nadal in the US Open semi-finals this year, as the world no. 1 retired due to a knee injury, and eventually lost to Novak Djokovic in the championship clash.

'The first time that we saw Juan Martin del Potro playing was in my nephew's first or second Roland Garros appearance,' Toni wrote. 'The Argentinian was playing as a junior and someone suggested to us that we train with him.

When we ended the session, Rafael and I, we both agreed that he would be one of the best in the world in a short time. Despite being very young and with big room for improvements - he didn't have a good serve despite his big height, to make an example - we saw a thing that best tennis players have in common: it was difficult to hit a winner against him, and in exchange, he had a good ability to hit a winner shot.

In 2009, Juan Martin won the US Open semi-finals against Rafael and defeated Roger Federer in the final. He became world no.4 in the world rankings and became one of the candidates to seek the no. 1 ranking. Bad luck, caused by his wrist injuries, didn't allow him to get involved in the fight the following years.

As we had predicted, Juan Martin has improved a lot. Today his forehand is one of the best on the Tour. He has high percentages on serve and his ball control is amazing.' ALSO READ: Roger Federer: 'The closer I think about retirement, the closer I am'