Juan Martin Del Potro
by Claudio Cerda with the contribution of Felipe Iturrieta
translated by Mauro Cappiello
Argentine tennis player Juan Martin Del Potro will take time to get back to his best level and his return to the top spots of the circuit will depend on his mental strength, said Sweden’s Stefan Edberg, former world number one, who is in Chile to play an exhibition.
Del Potro rose to glory in 2009 by winning the U.S. Open and some months later he reached the No. 4 in the ATP rankings. After that, a surgery on his right wrist pretty much wiped out his 2010 season.
The player, currently located at the number 298 of the world rankings, resumed his activities last January in the Sydney tournament, where he fell in the second round. Then he lost at the same stage of the Australian Open and a few days ago he reached the semifinals in San Jose, USA.
Edberg, who won 42 singles and 18 doubles titles in his professional career, acknowledged the complexity of the surgery Del Potro underwent, but stated that, if the 22 year old Argentine tennis player is confident in himself, he may be back to his best game.
«(Del Potro) has been out of tennis for long for a very serious injury and it is very difficult for him to return to the level he was before. It will take time for improvement, at least a year», Edberg said in a press conference .
«But Martin is very young and if he believes in himself he can return to the top, because he is a great player and it will be great to see him back», added the former Swedish tennis player.
Edberg, 45, has been considered one of the best players ever, with six Grand Slam titles in singles and five other finals.
The Swede said that the place of honor in the history of tennis is for Spanish Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, number 1 and 2 in the world, respectively, within a generation of brilliant players.
«Tennis in general has made great progress, there is a great generation of players. Federer and Nadal are perhaps the best players ever».
«The level they have achieved and what they have done for tennis is amazing. They have also shown that they can maintain a very high level of play not only for an hour or two, but even in a fifth set», said Edberg.
In the past seven years the ATP ranking has been dominated by Nadal and Federer. One of them has occupied the top of the list every week since February 2004, with the Swiss who has completed five seasons at the top and Spanish two.
They have been awarded 21 of the last 24 Grand Slam trophies from Roland Garros 2005, among many other accomplishments.
Edberg is in Chile to play an exhibition tournament called "Maestros del Tenis", which takes place between Thursday and Saturday with former glories of the game.
These include local Marcelo Rios, South Africa's Wayne Ferreira, Swede Thomas Enqvist, Frenchman Cedric Pioline and Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov.
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