Juan Martin del Potro is looking forward to enjoying an injury-free year and challenging the leading players on a regular basis in 2014.
The 25-year-old Argentinian, who won the US Open in 2009, had his career put on hold by a wrist injury the following year, but has now moved back up to five in the world rankings for the first time in more than three years.
Del Potro, who has a career-high ranking of four, has struggled to return to the top after plummeting to number 485 in the world, but is now looking to put pressure on the likes of Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal.
He believes he can do well at the Australian Open, where he has never got past the quarter-finals before, after showing people who bet on tennis what he can do in Grand Slams by reaching the semi-finals of last year’s Wimbledon, before eventually being edged out in a five-set thriller by Djokovic.
Del Potro said: ”I was close to reaching the final in Wimbledon but it wasn’t enough to win there. I have to be ready for the moment, like I was in 2009 when I beat Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer in semis and finals. I think I’m ready to keep fighting with them in Grand Slams but they are still so good and the biggest favourites. I’m in the top five again and I see a good opportunity to keep improving my ranking, I’m looking forward to playing most tournaments healthy. That could be my biggest goal for this year.”
Del Potro’s career highlight came at Flushing Meadows in 2009 when, as the sixth seed, he beat the likes of Juan Carlos Ferrero, Marin Cilic, and the perennial favourite in the tennis betting, Nadal, before recovering from a set and a break down to defeat Federer in the final.