An enviable brand. Juan Martín del Potro, despite his intermittences on the circuit due to different injuries, owns the second best record of victories over the complete ‘Big 3’. The Argentine has 17 successes adding his feats over Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, which places him only behind Andy Murray.
By various titles and records, the Swiss, the Spanish and the Serbian appear above the rest, not only at present, since they also have several top marks in the history of tennis. That’s why many fans criticize when Murray is sometimes included in that select batch, as the Scotsman, incidentally, won much less than Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.
For Del Potro, even with absences due to physical problems, there is one point that confirms the great career he was doing in professionalism: his triumphs over the best. The Argentine defeated Federer seven times, Nadal six times and Djokovic four times. Without a doubt, to be envied by any colleague. In fact, that’s how he is in face-to-face duels with the ‘Big 3’: 7-18 against Federer, 6-11 against Nadal and 4-16 against Djokovic.
Only Murray, owner of three Grand Slam, against one of the Argentine, surpasses him in that area: the British is 11-25 against Djokovic, 11-14 against Federer and 7-17 with Nadal.
For Del Potro, his 17 wins against the three biggest meant a lot. A striking fact: he never beat a member of the ‘Big 3’ on clay court. Federer was surpassed for the first time in no less than the 2009 US Open final, which earned him his only Grand Slam title. Really unforgettable.
The only one of the three that the Argentine defeated in the finals was the Swiss. And, as a bonus, he did it four times: the aforementioned Grand Slam in New York, in Basel 2012 and 2013 and in Indian Wells 2018, just to conquer his only Masters 1000 level cup. In all cases, he surpassed it in hard surface.
Of his six wins over Nadal, Del Potro got three in a row, all in 2009 and in cement: in Miami, the Canadian Open and the US Open in the semifinal and very easy (he only gave up one set after adding those three games). In addition, three of the four successes over Djokovic were historic: in the Davis Cup semi in 2011 in Belgrade (for abandoning the premises), in a bronze clash in the London 2012 Olympic Games and in the Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro 2016 .
Del Potro certainly has reason to be proud. And he is excited to reap more victories in the return of the circuit.