Del Potro targets big four in 2013

LONDON Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:40am IST

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro hits a return to Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their men's singles semifinal tennis match at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London November 11, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro hits a return to Serbia's Novak Djokovic during their men's singles semifinal tennis match at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London November 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers ride their camels as they rehearse for the "Beating the Retreat" ceremony in New Delhi January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Ahmad Masood

"Beating The Retreat" Rehearsals

Rehearsals are on for "Beating the Retreat" ceremony which symbolises retreat after a day on the battlefield, and marks the official end of the Republic Day celebrations.  Slideshow 

LONDON (Reuters) - Juan Martin del Potro believes he can muscle his way into the world's top four next year after returning to the kind of form that propelled him to the U.S. Open title three years ago.

The 1.98 metres tall Argentine saw his bid to win the ATP World Tour Finals ended by world number one Novak Djokovic on Sunday but there was enough evidence in his three-set defeat to offer real hope that he can challenge for the big prizes.

Del Potro, who reached the semi-finals at the season-ender in London with a second win over Roger Federer in as many weeks, was irresistible for a set against Djokovic before fading to lose 4-6 6-3 6-2 at the O2 Arena.

Safely back inside the world's top 10 after a series of wrist problems, Del Potro is regarded as the man most likely to break up the status quo in the men's game and it was easy to see why on Sunday as he pummelled Djokovic early on.

His forehand wrought havoc in the opening set and his serve was brutal at times before he ran out of steam.

Despite defeat, Del Potro can look back on an injury-free year in which he reaped 65 match wins - 11 more than in 2009 when he stunned Federer to claim his first grand slam title.

"I think I'm playing good," the 24-year-old Tandil native, who beat Djokovic to win the Olympic bronze this year, told reporters. "I don't know if I'm playing better than 2009 but being in the semi-finals in this tournament was so big for me.

"These kind of matches give me illusions for the next season. I beat Roger yesterday. I was close to beating Novak today. But in the end, they are too good for me.

"But I'm getting closer every day. It's my big challenge for next year, my big goal. Trying to fight at all the grand slams with this group. You know, they are winning all the grand slams: Novak, Federer, Rafa (Nadal) and now (Andy) Murray. I would like to be part of that in the grand slams."

Del Potro was a set and a break ahead against Djokovic before losing 11 of the last 14 games - a possible reaction to his three-set victory over Federer on Saturday.

"I think I played two good sets today," del Potro said. "But in the end, the difference is he's the number one in the world so if you don't play the whole match at your best level, it's really difficult to beat him."

(Editing by Alison Wildey)

Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Reuters Showcase

ONGC Share Sale

ONGC Share Sale

ONGC share sale scheduled for this fiscal - oil minister  Full Article 

The Apple logo is pictured inside the newly opened Omotesando Apple store at a shopping district in Tokyo June 26, 2014. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files

Record Earnings

Apple iPhone sales trample expectations as profit sets global record  Full Article 

'Umrika' At Sundance

'Umrika' At Sundance

From Oscars to Sundance, Sharma and Revolori discuss India's 'Umrika'  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Smooth Wawrinka, ill Serena through to Melbourne semis   Full Article 

India's Male Tenor

India's Male Tenor

India's lone male tenor aims to sing opera in local key  Full Article 

Japan Hostages

Japan Hostages

Mother of Japanese captive begs PM to save son held by Islamic State  Full Article 

Tripoli Attack

Tripoli Attack

Frenchman, American among those killed in Tripoli hotel attack - Libyan official.  Full Article 

U.S. Blizzard

U.S. Blizzard

Blizzard hits Boston and New England, spares New York despite forecasts.  Full Article 

Spying Row

Spying Row

Spying program leaked by Snowden is tied to campaign in many countries.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage