Juan Martin del Potro has made a fast climb through the ranks of men's tennis and the tall Argentine dreams of making his next step up the Grand Slam ladder by landing a berth in the final of the US Open.
"I have the confidence," 20-year-old del Potro said on Tuesday after powering his way past 2003 French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals.
"I have everything to do a good tournament. I am doing well but I would like to be in the semis or in my first final."
This year del Potro has won on hardcourt at Auckland and in Washington, beating Andy Roddick in the final. The next week he was runner up to Briton Andy Murray at Montreal.
The precocious del Potro, who reached his first Grand Slam semifinal at this year's French Open before losing to eventual winner Roger Federer, has been working on utilizing his 6-foot-6 (1.98m) height to advantage from the service line.
Practise paid off in the fourth round when the sixth-seeded del Potro propelled 22 aces past the 29-year-old Spaniard.
"I improve my serve a little bit," said the Argentine, who hit 137 mph (220 kph) with his fastest serve. "I need to be good with that weapon.
"Today my serve worked excellently."
Del Potro reached his first Grand Slam quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows last year, losing to Murray. He also made the last eight at the Australian Open before making his long run at Roland Garros.
He has made a habit of getting quickly to his targets.
Del Potro, at No 6, is the youngest player in the top 20. He was the youngest in the year-end top 10 in 2008, youngest in the top 50 in 2007, youngest in the top 100 in 2006 and youngest in the top 200 in 2005.
(China Daily September 10, 2009)