Juan Martín del Potro was a promise of world tennis in July 2008. He was 19 years old, he had been a professional for three and in 2007 he had been among the 50 best in the world.
It arrived in Stuttgart as No. 65. From Germany he left as 44th, after beating Richard Gasquet (who had already been Top Ten) 6-4 and 7-5 in the final. It was the first title of the Tandilense and the certainty that he could fight, that he could be the protagonist of the circuit.
The following week he won the Kitzbuhel title and went to 25th. In August, Delpo would score another title double: Los Angeles (in the final he beat Roddick, the first seed) and Washington, where he beat Tommy Haas in the semifinals and Victor Troicki in the definition.
At the US Open, he beat Cañas, Bellucci, Simon and Nishikori. Del Potro entered the top eight in a Grand Slam for the first time and there he fought against Andy Murray, who ended up winning 7-6 (2), 7-6 (1), 6-4 and 7-5.
In the Davis Cup semifinals, he won his two points against Russia: Davydenko and Andreev. He reached the final in Tokyo, where he fell to Berdych. It got into the Top Ten for the first time.
Quarters in Madrid and semifinals in Basel classified him to the Masters of the eight best of the season, where he would beat Tsonga and be eliminated after losing to Djokovic and Davydenko.
The closing of 2008 for Del Potro was in the Davis Cup final, against Feliciano López in Mar del Plata. Perhaps the bitterest drink of his career. The Spanish won 4-6, 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4) and 6-3. The revenge for the tandilense would arrive in 2016, being fundamental to achieve the first Salad Bowl in Argentine history.
In July, he was 65th in the world and in November he was playing the Masters and the Davis Cup final. In Stuttgart, Juan Martín del Potro crossed his own Rubicon.