Once again New York delivered and it was emotional!

The Grand Slams always create a feel good factor and year on year New York tops it, this it reached impeccable levels of emotion which will never be forgotten. Memories are made, tears are shed and history is created so let’s recap the incredible moments from the fortnight.

An emotional return

Petra Kvitova pulled off some incredible tennis in New York. What she has done since returning from that horrific stabbing around Christmas is unbelievable. A crowd favourite wherever she plays she is just so humble and happy to be playing tennis and that’s what it is all about.

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Juan Martin Del Potro

This man is something else, he continues to wow crowd across the world and his performances in New York were nothing short of exceptional especially the epic four set battle against Federer. This man is just infectious, his personality is beautiful and this is what makes him so liked worldwide.

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Sloane’s story

957 to 17 in a month. Quite incredible from Sloane Stephens after almost a year out and wins her first major title. Some stories just tell themselves and this is one of those. Well done Sloane!

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There were many other stories as well from New York. The run of Anderson, Keys, Double delight for Martina Hingis, Venus Williams rolling back the years once more.

New York delivered once again.

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The Tower of Tandil rises to the occasion once again

His nickname is The Tower of Tandil and once again the former US Open champion has rising to the occasion in the city that never sleeps.

New York is like a home for Del Potro from what he did in 2009 seeing off Nadal and Federer on route to the title but what he is doing now might just be even more special.

Over the last few years he has had four surgeries on his left wrist missing years of tennis but has come back strong something many thought he’d never be able to do again.

Last year he was the star in Davis Cup and picked up an Olympic medal in Rio and this year he has got better and better and his run in New York seeing off Thiem and Federer over a period of 9 sets is what he is about doing the unthinkable something others can only dream of.

He is loved worldwide and you wouldn’t find anyone who dislikes him, his character is infectious and what makes him such a great champion is that he is humble, kind, respectful and he plays with a smile on his face.

A semi-final against Rafael Nadal is up next on Friday for the Argentine and it sets itself up to be a spectacular battle between two giants in what feels like a final but one will play either Kevin Anderson or Pablo Carreno Busta in Sunday’s final.

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Welcome back Del Potro but credit to Laaksonen

A welcomed return. One of the tournament’s favoured winners over the year returned to where he achieved his most incredible win back in 2009 and he had to fight but fighting on Ashe is nothing new to the former champion and it is so good to see him back in New York.

Del Potro had an unknown in round one against Laaksonen from Switzerland who to his credit played a cracking match and to lose in three straight sets 6-4 7-6 7-6 is tough but he can take a lot away from this afternoon’s work at Flushing Meadows.

Del Potro was halted from playing the dominating tennis off the forehand and it was his opponent who was finding the angles and credit to Del Potro to be a champion you need to adapt and he did that by playing on the back foot and remained patient despite rarely seeing a chance on Laaksonen’s serve throughout the whole match.

After losing the second set I did expect it to fall apart for Laaksonen but to his credit he kept going and was even a break ahead but it is the main man through in New York.

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Roland Garros Preview – Andy Murray v Juan Martin Del Potro

Wherever these two meet they bring a crowd. Rome, New York, Rio, London and now add Paris to that list as Juan Martin Del Potro and Andy Murray face off once again. Sadly someone’s run at Roland Garros comes to an end on the clay their first meeting on the surface since 2009.

Preparing to play against Juan Martin is a tough ask because it’s not about what game you are going to play but how to stop a player of Del Potro’s quality and if I were Andy Murray I’d be having a look at Djokovic’ performance Del Potro not long ago when the defending champion nullified the strength of Del Potro which is his forehand.

We did some much better tennis from Murray against Klizan despite taking four sets to get the win but after losing the first set he did react quickly taking a step back on the baseline to get more security behind the backhand which was a little rushed and found contact with the net instead of the baseline in set one but he also used that backhand slice well and is something he should deploy against the Argentine.

Murray has used the drop shot and the sliced backhand well so far this week and hasn’t really missed many of eight sets of tennis and if he can take the pace away from the rally then he has a good chance of gaining control and removing that build up to a massive forehand from the Argentine.

Del Potro did have a bit of an issue during his match with Almagro when the Spaniard unfortunately had to retire but Del Potro did suffer with what looked like a groin injury at the end of the first set.

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Popcorn at the ready…

It is like all my dreams have come true. Tuesday at Indian Wells looks set to be a marvellous day of tennis with some magnificent match ups and here is my pick of the lot!

Rafael Nadal v Fernando Verdasco

Popcorn at the ready? These two have produced some absolute classics. I’ve loved watching Fernando through his career he is one of my favourites. When I first watched him to now he has that swagger, the skill of these two is incredible.

Miami in 2015 they played each other and it was one of my favourite matches of the year. They are so similar but they complement each other so well. The forehand and backhand and what I love the most is the serve, they have that lefty swinging serve which I admire so much.

I can’t really call this one, Fernando on his day is brilliant but it’s tough to predict. Fernando has won 3 of their last 5 meetings on the tour after going 9 years and 15 matches without a win against his fellow Spaniard…

Ok, still got popcorn?

Not too sure where to start. They have never met before but you can guarantee they will many of times over the next few years.

I like both players, they play their own game and it works well for them. Out of the two I would have to pick Nick. I’m a big fan of his, I do think he is unfairly criticised at times but has been very good this year and what I find so frustrating is that it seems to be a major news story if he curses during a match, find me a player that hasn’t cursed during a match!
Between the two, Kyrgios has more power in his game where as Zverev likes a more measured and thought out approach you could see it as method v instinct which has the potential to be a cracker!

Novak Djokovic v Juan Martin Del Potro

Ok, do we have any popcorn left?!

By this match I think we will all need a lie down. Del Potro returned to the tour last year stole the hearts of tennis fans and broke Novak’s heart in Rio and they have history at Indian Wells.

Now the former world number one is on a 18 match winning streak in the Californian desert and guess who the last player was to beat Novak at Indian Wells? You got it, DelPo.
Watching Novak play against Kyle Edmund it wasn’t a performance where I thought he played very well. Out of 10 I would probably have to say 6.5 so who knows another upset at Indian Wells could be brewing…

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Del Potro’s return was spectacular but could his best follow in 2017?

You won’t find a more universally liked player than Juan Martin Del Potro. The Argentine throughout his career has stolen tennis hearts and for the last couple of years there has been a gap and he has been missed but this year the big man made his comeback and wow what a comeback it was and the best could yet follow…

2009 was the year he arrived. After making the quarter finals in Australia, semi finals in France and an early exit in at Wimbledon he then arrived in New York defeated Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer as he picked up his first major title and made the World Tour Finals as well.

Sadly 2010 was hit with injury for Del Potro and 2011 didn’t gain momentum but in 2012 I saw one of my tennis highlights the tears on that man’s face when he won Olympic Bronze it was truly inspiring.

Since then it has been on and off but now he’s back and you better watch out…

Delray return for DelPo

Back in Februray Del Potro made his long awaited return at Delray Beach where he saw off Jeremy Chardy in the quarter finals before being defeated by Sam Querrey in the semi-finals but to win 3 matches in a row after so long out and being ranked at 1042 in the world is an impressive start to the comeback.

Masters in March!

Indian Wells and Miami. The first big tournaments for the Argentine both ended in early defeats. At Indian Wells it was Tomas Berdych who ended his run in the second round which was also the stage of the competition where it ended for Del Potro with fellow Argentine Zeballos ending his run there…

Stuttgart + Skipping Roland Garros

The ATP 250 tournament in Stuttgart is where the momentum began to gather pace for Del Potro as once again he made it to another semi-final with some impressive wins against Grigor Dimitrov and Gilles Simon before falling to Philip Kohlschreiber.

After Stuttgart many expected Del Potro to continue this momentum going into his first Grand Slam of the year but he decided to skip the second major of the year as he steadied his comeback.

RIO!

After a very good win against Stan Wawrinka at Wimbledon once again Del Potro decided to take a break and returned for the Olympics and this is where he meant business.

There aren’t many tournaments where you can saw I defeated Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal but didn’t win the tournament. Defeating Djokovic in round one was massive and then to defeat Nadal to get to the final before being defeated by Murray for the Gold was epic from him and at that point we said he is back!

Tears of New York

In 2009 he became champion in New York seeing off Nadal and Federer to win his first major and was treated like a king on his return and despite defeat to Stan Wawrinka he was the winner as he was cheered off the court by a full crowd at the US Open which brought the Argentinian to tears!

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The comeback was great but to win a title this year was a fantastic achievement picking up the title in Stockholm but also earlier on in the year an Olympic medal for a second time!

Davis Cup Heroics

Big players for big occasions. 2 sets down to Cilic in a must win match he comes back to win his first match ever from 2 sets down to put Argentina on course to win their first Davis Cup. Truly brilliant! Not forgetting his heroic win against Andy Murray in Glasgow to get to the final!

2017…

This could be spectacular. He has a good team behind him, he picked his tournaments well when he returned. Surprised many by skipping Roland Garros but it paid off, he knows what he has to do. I believe it is certain that he will be in the top 10 next year and I think from him the best is to follow!

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Image Credit – Getty Images

Del Potro and Delbonis win late to secure Argentina’s first Davis Cup!

Well, Juan Martin Del Potro is the gift that keeps on giving. The Argentine’s return to tennis this year has been bloody marvellous and has topped the year off in the most dramatic fashion with a stunning comeback to keep Argentina’s chance of winning the Davis Cup alive…

Del Potro was 6-7 2-6 down against Marin Cilic and then turned it around at the final moment winning the third set 7-5 before going on to easily claim the next couple of sets 6-4 6-3 to win from two sets down for the first time in his career, not bad eh?

Now it was over to Federico Delbonis in the fifth and final rubber against the big serving Ivo Karlovic…

Delbonis had a steady year on the tour finishing with a ranking of 41 with a title to his name as well as a win against Andy Murray at Indian Wells so he can be dangerous and he proved this once again with a pretty straight forward win against what looked a nervy and on edge Ivo Karlovic who’s serve didn’t really get going on an indoor hard court which is something you rarely say…

DelPo and DelBo did it, they sent Argentine tennis to it’s finest hour with one of the greatest footballers of all time in Diego Maradona court side watching!

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Photo credit – Getty Images