Juan Martin del Potro was born on September 23, 1988, in Tandil, Argentina. He earned a spot as the representative for Argentina on the Nike Junior Tour at age 12, and at 14 he won his first professional match. Del Potro defeated Roger Federer to win the 2009 U.S. Open singles championship just before his 21st birthday. He was hampered by wrist problems in subsequent years, but regained his overpowering form to claim a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Tennis player Juan Martin del Potro was born September 23, 1988, in Tandil, Argentina. His father, Daniel, was a semi-professional rugby player in Argentina and a veterinarian. His mother, Patricia, is an educator.
Del Potro began playing tennis at age 7 at the Club Independiente de Tandil, training with famed coach Marcelo Gómez. That same year, he played his first national championship in Bragado, Buenos Aires. By the age of 12, he had earned a spot as the representative for Argentina on the Nike Junior Tour.
In 2004, at the age of 15, del Potro won his first professional match in Buenos Aires at the International Tennis Federation event. Leveraging his long, lanky frame to deliver punishing groundstrokes, he became the youngest player to finish in the Top 100 in 2006, in the Top 50 in 2007, and the Top 10 in 2008.
Seeded sixth at the 2009 U.S. Open, del Potro overwhelmed Rafael Nadal in the semifinals to set up a clash with Roger Federer for the championship. Del Potro upset the Swiss great in a thrilling five-set match, making him the first Argentine male to win the U.S. title since Guillermo Vilas in 1977.
Del Potro missed most of the 2010 season after undergoing wrist surgery. He was named the ATP Comeback Player of the Year in 2011, took home the bronze medal at the London Olympics in 2012, and by 2013 he was once again ranked among the Top 5 players in the world. However, his wrist problems returned and required more surgery in 2014, damaging his hopes of claiming another Grand Slam championship.
At Wimbledon 2016, del Potro was back in action. He defeated fourth seed Stan Wawrinka to make it to the third round of his first grand slam in three years. The towering Argentine then took the field by storm at the 2016 Summer Olympics, overpowering top-ranked Novak Djokovic and a resurgent Nadal, before falling to Andy Murray in the gold medal match.
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