The Argentinian Fire is Blazing

When the English head of the ATP World Tour, Chris Kermode, went over the tournament’s hall of fame in Basel this week, he was quite astonished. «Wow, what a gallery of famous winners». The Swiss Indoors world class heritage includes a number of Argentinians, with names like Guillermo Vilas, David Nalbandian and Guillermo Coria. The hottest South American name in the city currently is Juan-Martin Del Potro (photo), who made it into the final past title holder Marin Čilić. The «Gaucho» has already won Basel on two occasions (2012 and 2013 against Federer); now he will have his third opportunity on Sunday. «It is a pleasure for me to play against the best player in history», said Del Potro with reference to a possible tournament final encounter with Roger Federer. The Gaucho is on a run: in his last five events he has played in the semi-finals on four occasions, and after Stockholm (20th title) a week ago, back to back, he finds himself in a final again.

Del Potro expressed satisfaction with his serve. Thus far, he has served 35 aces at the St. Jakob, the highest number at this year’s tournament. The man, who was world number four in 2010, has world class tools and is a world class player. He takes advantage of his long arms to achieve winning shots that thrill the audience. And he has shown himself to be mentally strong, with his nerves only fluttering rarely. Also, the tournament officials are sparing no effort to offer their assistance to the South American. To act preventively against latent backache, the Indoors had the mattress in Del Potro’s room changed. After the semi-final, there was a certain fatigue to be seen in the sympathetic star. But an Argentinian never gives up, and Del Potro’s fire continues to blaze in Basel.

«January 2018»