Juan Martin del Potro Qualifies for the ATP Finals

Juan Martin del Potro has earned a spot in the last big tournament of the year…

The 30-year-old Argentine tennis player has qualified for the ATP Finals for the fifth time by beating Karen Khachanov 6-4, 7-6 (4) Wednesday at the China Open.

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro, who reached the US Openfinal this year, last qualified for the season-ending tournament for the top eight players in the world in 2013.

del Potro will next meet Filip Krajinovic in the quarterfinals in Beijing. Krajinovic defeated Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (5), 6-3.

He was the runner-up in 2009, losing to Nikolay Davydenkoin the finals of the ATP World Tour Finals.

Fernando Verdasco Defeats Andy Murray to Advance to Third Round at the US Open

Fernando Verdasco is celebrating a big win…

The 34-year-old Spanish professional tennis player defeated Andy Murray, the 2012 champion, 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, in the second round of the US Open.

Fernando Verdasco

Verdasco, the No. 31 seed, will face a second straight past champion at Flushing Meadows when he meets third-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 champion, in the third round.

Verdasco won for just the second time in 15 career meetings with Murray, who had multiple chances to even the final game of a 64-minute final set before the left-hander finished it.

“I think some of the tennis I played today was some of the best I’ve played since I had the surgery or since I came back,” Murray said. “But there were also periods in the match, especially in the first set, where, you know, I really didn’t play particularly well. I hit a lot of mistakes when I was up in that set. I feel like I should have won the first set and didn’t.

“Then kind of at the end when back was against the wall, I came up with some good tennis to make it close and interesting at the end and almost got myself back into it. You know, there were too many ups and downs for my liking.”

San Antonio Spurs Star Manu Ginobili Retires from the NBA

The time clock has run down for Manu Ginobili

The 41-year-old Argentine professional basketball player, a guard with the San Antonio Spurs since the 2002-2003 NBA season,announced Monday that he’s retiring.

Manu Ginobili

“Today, with a wide range of feelings, I’m announcing my retirement from basketball,” he announced in a tweet. “It’s been a fabulous journey. Way beyond my wildest dreams.”

Ginobili, a future Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer, had been working out regularly at the Spurs’ practice facility as he considered his decision to retire.

The Spurs had been hopeful that Ginobili would want to return for a 17th season and allowed him to take all the time he needed to decide, league sources had told ESPN. The team thanked Ginobili in a tweet and video Monday.

His decision brings a historic 16-season run with the Spurs to an end. He is one of the most decorated international players in basketball history, a four-time NBA champion, a two-time NBA All-Star, an Olympic gold medalist for Argentina and a EuroLeague MVP.

“An NBA champion and All-Star, Manu Ginobili is also a pioneer who helped globalize the NBA,” NBA commissioner Adam Silversaid. “He is one of basketball’s greatest ambassadors who believes in the power of sports to change lives. And for 16 years, we were fortunate to watch a legend compete at the highest level. Thank you, Manu, for a career that inspired millions of people around the world.”

Ginobili played 1,057 regular-season and 218 playoff games with the Spurs, ranking in the franchise’s top five all time in games, points (14,043), assists (4,001) and steals (1,392). He averaged 8.9 points and 20 minutes a game for the Spurs last season.

“A role model for all of us that love this wonderful sport,” Spurs forward Pau Gasol said.

Ginobili’s pro career lasted 23 seasons in all, starting with stints in Italy and Argentina. His drawing power was massive even in his final season, and it was common for him to spend plenty of time before road games posing for photos and signing autographs — often international fans proudly displaying an Argentine flag.

“He has the talent to continue playing for five years, but we have to respect his decision. Us Argentinians, we are so proud of him. We wish all the best in the new life,” said Juan Martin del Potro, who thanked Ginobili after his victory Monday at the US Open.

Ginobili had one year left on his contract, worth $2.5 million.

The smooth left-handed guard from Argentina came to San Antonio in 2002, forming what quickly became a powerful big three alongside Tim Duncanand Tony Parker. Now, they’ve all moved on: Duncan retired two years ago, Parker left San Antonio earlier this summer as a free agent to sign with the Charlotte Hornets, and Ginobili has worn Spurs colors for the last time as well.

“I had left the door open just in case, but now I am convinced and happy about the decision I made,” Ginobili said, as quoted in Argentina newspaper La Nacion.

Duncan, Parker, Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard were the backbone of San Antonio’s drive to its most recent NBA championship in 2014, and this will be the first time Gregg Popovichbegins a season as the Spurs’ head coach with none of those players on the roster. Leonard was traded to the Toronto Raptorsfor DeMar DeRozan earlier this summer, the end of a relationship in San Antonio that had apparently gone too sour to save.

Leonard’s departure meant Ginobili would have been the last significant player tied to the Spurs’ title years. But in the end, retirement was his call.

Ginobili, even though he was often coming off the bench, has a résumé of postseason production like almost no one else. Only two players have more than 800 rebounds, 800 assists and 300 3-pointers in their playoff careers — Ginobili and LeBron James.

Ginobili’s final game was April 24, when the Spurs were ousted from the Western Conference playoffs by the eventual champion Golden State Warriors. San Antonio lost the series 4-1.

Rafael Nadal Outlasts Juan Martin del Potro to Advance to Wimbledon Semifinals

Rafael Nadal is back in a position he hasn’t seen in seven years…

The 32-year-old Spanish tennis superstar, the World No. 1,rallied to win a grueling five-set match against Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and reach the semifinals at the All England Club.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal reached his first Wimbledon semifinal since 2011, winning a crowd-pleasing five-set duel against del Potro that took 4 hours, 48 minutes — the longest match of this year’s tournament — and featured entertaining rallies between two of the biggest hitters in the game.

del Potro finished with 77 winners to Nadal’s 67 but failed to convert any of his five break points in the fifth set. Instead it was Nadal who earned the only break of the decider, and he closed out the win on his first match point — leaving the fifth-seeded Argentine sprawled on the grass in exhaustion.

Nadal will next play 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic in the semifinals.

Juan Martin del Potro Outlasts Gilles Simon to Reach Wimbledon Quarterfinals

Juan Martin del Potro is back in the quarters…

The 29-year-old Argentine tennis play has advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time since 2013 after beating Gilles Simon 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5).

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro, the fifth-seed at the All England Club Grand Slam, failed to convert four match points when serving at 5-4 in the fourth set, but maintained his composure to close out the matchwith his first opportunity in the tiebreaker that followed.

The only fourth-round contest to be carried over to Tuesday lasted 4 hours, 24 minutes, making it the longest men’s singles match of the tournament.

It’s the first time since he reached the Australian Open and French Open quarterfinals in 2012 that del Potro has qualified for the last eight at consecutive Grand Slams.

He reached the semifinals at the All England Club in 2013, but four wrist surgeries — three on the left — almost made him retire.

del Potro faces two-time champion Rafael Nadal, who has reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time since 2011.

Juan Martin del Potro Back in the Quarterfinals at the French Open After Six Year Absence

Juan Martin del Potro is back in the final eight at Roland Garros

The 29-year-old Argentine tennis player, the tournament’s fifth seed, brushed aside John Isner 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the French Open quarterfinals for the first time since 2012 on Monday.

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro produced an impressive display on Court Suzanne Lenglen, firing 25 winners and making just 14 unforced errors against the American ninth seed.

del Potro was knocked out in the third round at Roland Garros last year after missing the previous four tournaments in Paris through injury.

del Potro will next face third seed Marin Cilic in the last eight.

Juan Martin del Potro Breaks Roger Federer’s 17-Match Win Streak to Win BNP Paribas Open Title

Juan Martin del Potro has taken down a living legend for his first ATP Masters 1000 title…

The The 29-year-old Argentine tennis player  has ended World No. 1 Roger Federer‘s 17-match win streak to claim the BNP Paribas Open title at Indian Wells.

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro beat Federer 6-4 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-2) in a thrilling final.

Federer had been searching for a record sixth title in California, but it was del Potro who powered to his first ATP Masters 1000 title.

He’s the first player to beat Federer in 2018.

del Potro saved three match points before closing out victory in two hours 42 minutes.

del Potro has been hampered by wrist problems in recent years and has had three operations which left him struggling to use his backhand.

But he has made a strong start to 2018, winning his first ATP 500 title for five years at Acapulco earlier in March and returning to the world’s top 10.

del Potro claimed a stunning four-set win over Federer at the US Open in September last year, but Federer won their last meeting in Basel a month later.

del Potro forced the only break of the first set and made just three unforced errors to Federer’s 11 as he closed out the first set in 39 minutes.

“It’s difficult to describe with words. It’s like a dream,” Del Potro said. “After all my problems, after all my surgeries, I couldn’t believe I’m here winning a Masters 1000 and beating Roger. It’s amazing.”

Juan Martin del Potro Advances to Finals at the BNP Paribas Open

Juan Martin del Potro is back in the finals at the BNP Paribas Open

The 29-year-old Argentine tennis player defeated Canada’s Milos Raonic in straight sets to advance to the finals against Roger Federer at Indian Wells on Sunday.

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro breezed past No. 32 Raonic 6-2, 6-3 in 66 minutes for his 10th consecutive match victory and the 400th of his injury-plagued career.

“It was surprising to see him [Raonic] serving not too hard, and I broke his serve very quick in both sets,” del Potro said. “That gave me the control of the match.” 

del Potro has fought back from left wrist surgeries in 2014 and 2015 (twice) and another one on his right wrist in 2010 that nearly caused him to quit tennis. He is 16-3 this year with one title in Acapulco.

“I didn’t play him before his injuries, but his backhand was probably one of the things that was overlooked because the forehand was so hard,” Raonic said. “But the backhand, I remember when he won the U.S. Open, he could hit it crosscourt without any guys being able to have the freedom of running around or anything. He’s gotten that back quite a bit.”

del Potro previously appeared in the finals back in 2013, losing to Rafael Nadal 4–6, 6–3, 6–4.

Juan Martin del Potro Advances to Semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open

Juan Martin del Potro survives scare to advance at Indian Wells.

The 29-year-old Argentine tennis player has earned a spot in the semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro defeated Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the semis.

For a second-straight match, the world No. 9 found himself needing to win two straight sets after a sluggish first.

del Potro was out of sorts when this match started, having trouble with the way Kohlschreiber was mixing things up. The German was moving del Potro around as much as he could, and he was also making excellent use of the drop shot.

del Potro would not stay down for long. The new set invigorated del Potro, who took out some frustration on his racquets. Settled in, he took care of business in the second set to force a decider.

The third set was even more straightforward, as del Potro began to play his best tennis right when Kohlschreiber started to play his worst. del Potro’s forehand was at its fearsome best late in the match, and Kohlschreiber was unable to handle it.

The icing on the cake for the world No. 9 came when he gave Kohlschreiber a taste of his own medicine, utilizing a drop shot of his own to help hold serve and go up 4-2 in the third.

del Potro will face 32nd-seeded Milos Raonic on Saturday.

Juan Martin del Potro Wins Mexico Open

It’s Blackjack for Juan Martin del Potro

The 29-year-old Argentinian tennis player won the Mexico Open on Saturday night for his 21st ATP Tour title, beating Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4 to improve to 7-0 against the 6-foot-8 South African.

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro was projected to switch spots with Anderson in the world ranking, with del Potro going from ninth to eighth. He beat three straight players ranked ahead of him in the hard-court event, topping No. 6 Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals and No. 5 Alexander Zverev in the semifinals.

“It’s a very special tournament to me,” said del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion. “I beat three top-10 guys in the same tournament, which is very important for myself. I’m so glad to win my 21st title playing in Acapulco.”

Potro won for the first time since successfully defending his Stockholm title last year.

“He’s a very dangerous guy,” del Potro said about Anderson. “His serves are so strong, but I got lucky in the important moments of my return games. I broke just twice and that was the key of the match.”

Anderson tweaked his left leg on del Potro’s lob and received treatment at 1-1 in the second.

“It was a little bit uncomfortable at first,” Anderson said. “I think in the bigger picture of things it didn’t really affect things too much,” Anderson said. “I think Juan Martin played really well. He’s obviously a tough competitor and a great player. I just needed to do a little bit more today.”

He won the New York Open two weeks ago for his fourth career title.

“I can take a lot of confidence going into Indian Wells and Miami, two tournaments I really enjoy playing. I feel like I’m playing really good tennis,” Anderson said. “As always, I’ll pick myself up. I’ll try to learn as much as I can from tonight’s match.”