Juan Martin Del Potro Biography And Game Analysis

Juan Martin Del Potro from Argentina is a world-class professional tennis player. He is known for his powerful game and his surprising win at the 2009 US Open!

Del Potro – Power Tennis With Solid Defensive Skills!


Del Potro was born in 1988 in Tandil, Argentina. He comes from a family with a strong sports-background and grew up playing Tennis and Soccer. His talent was obvious early on and he had a fantastic junior tennis career.

In 2002 he won the prestigious Orange Bowl in the Under 14 age division. Only one year later, at 15 years old, he won his first couple of matches in professional futures tournaments competing against adults!

As a professional he rose quickly in the rankings. In 2005 he already won a Challenger event and finished the year inside the world’s Top200 players. Since then Juan Martin Del Potro has had a very successful professional tennis career.

In January 2010 he reached his highest career ranking so far as number 4 in the world. Additionally, he holds 9 career singles titles on the ATP Tour.

His biggest success by far was of course his Grand Slam victory at the 2009 US Open!

In 2010 he suffered a severe wrist injury that kept him from playing for most of the year and he was not able to defend his US Open title!

Game Analysis

Del Potro has a huge game and has already shown that he can compete with the world’s best players on any given day. Let’s break down his game in detail!

1. Technical


Del Potro has a very dangerous forehand. He hits it with a rather conservative grip that allows him to hit flat shots that penetrate the court really well!

This type of penetrating forehand allows him to do one thing that many other pros cannot do nearly as well: He can really hurt the top players like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic!

The top guys are also the best movers on the tour and for players that cannot flatten out their shots it is almost impossible to get by them!

Watch Del Potro flattening out his forehand!

As different as the forehands of top pros may look, all the good ones have the key body positions in common. Nobody can fight physical laws at the highest level!

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Del Potro, like the other top players, goes from high to low to high, he keeps his head still at contact, and the racket stays on the right side of his body on his backswing.

One other thing to note is that his conservative grip allows him to return really well and stand in close to the baseline!


Del Potro has a great backhand! He can hit it with tremendous power and accuracy. To me it is one of the strongest two-handed backhands in the game at the moment!

Check Out Del Potro Hitting In Practice
Powerful Forehands And Backhands!

Juan Martin Del Potro’s backhand starts with very good grips on both hands. He then utilizes a great unit-turn, where he simply turns the upper body and the hips to get in position as quickly as possible. The arms don’t do much at all until the forward swing!

Similar to the forehand side, Del Potro can really flatten out his backhand and hurt opponents with it. What makes the shot so penetrating is a combination of great extension with a lifting motion!


Juan Martin hits a solid slice backhand. The ball stays relatively low and he uses it as an approach shot on a regular basis.

From defensive positions he does not use it as much, since he defends quite well with the two-handed backhand!


Del Potro does not hesitate to attack the net when opponents hit short balls to him. He hits a solid forehand volley but his backhand volley tends to float too much. He cannot really stick the shot and this is because the racket face is too open at contact.


Juan Martin Del Potro has a strong serve which he has improved quite a bit already throughout his pro career. Earlier in his career he never really served over 115mph but nowadays he regularly gets his serve speed up to 125 or even 130mph.

It seems like he also has more confidence to go for those big serves rather than rely on his strong baseline game. This is often a mental transition that takes some time for young players that were used to winning points from the baseline and not needing to serve that big.

Del Potro’s motion has actually changed quite a bit already over the years. At times it seemed like his motion was not 100% fluid with a slight stop at the end of the backswing. Recently his motion does appear very fluid though and the results speak for themselves.

Check out this huge serve by Del Potro
Can you see how fluid his arm action is ?

The one thing that Del Potro could probably improve on his serve is his shoulder turn away from the target. He does not create much of a separation angle between his hips and his shoulders, which is a key characteristic of all great servers.

Overall definitely a very strong serve!

2. Tactical

Del Potro is tall and therefore will never be one of the best movers around the tennis court. For him it is essential to be dictating as many rallies as possible with the goal of making his opponents run!

I really like the way Del Potro plays tactically!

His big serve in combination with those flat killer forehands that he can hit make him a threat for all the top players. I believe that the ability to flatten out that forehand is a huge advantage he has over the majority of the other top players! Fortunately, he has the technical tools to make this happen.

3. Physical

Juan Martin Del Potro moves exceptionally well for his height (6feet 6 inches or 198 cm). Argentines tennis players are known for their hard work ethic and I assume that Del Potro is no different in this regard.

With his height and body type it is extremely important for him to work hard on preventing injuries!

4. Mental

If there has been one thing missing for Juan Martin Del Potro to consistently establish himself inside the Top5 players in the world, I would say it is mental toughness!

I don’t believe that he is mentally weak, but to compete with Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic on a regular basis takes a special kind of mental toughness!

It appears that he has the belief that he can beat the top players in the world though and therefore I think it is only a matter of time until he improves some more in this area as well!


So here is my ranking for Del Potro’s skills:

1. Technical
2. Physical
3. Tactical
4. Mental

Ranking Juan Martin Del Potro’s skills was difficult, especially for the top three categories. He dominates matches with strong serves, forehands, and backhands, which is why I think he is strongest on the technical side.

His size and body type also help him significantly to hit the ball as hard as he does and he is a tactically smart player as well. The mental side is where he can make the biggest improvements still!

Coaching Recommendation

I would suggest that Juan Martin Del Potro spend as much time as possible working with great physical trainers to make sure his body stays healthy. If he stays healthy and brings some mental toughness to the table there is not much that can stop him from being a consistent Top5 player!

I would also advise him work on that backhand volley. Either he needs to slightly change the grip or adjust his wrist position so that the racket face is less open. His powerful game creates many opportunities to come to the net and he needs to capitalize on that even more!

So that was it for the Juan Martin Del Porto Biography and Game Analysis

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