Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button Follow Me on Pinterest
MagazineNewsBlogsLive ScoresTV ListingsTournamentsVideosInstructionRankingsPlayersPodcasts

Popular This Week

Net Notes - A Tennis Now Blog

Net Posts

Industry Insider - A Tennis Now Blog

Industry Insider

Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

Second Serve


Pella: Del Potro Best-Ever Argentine Player

Hall of Famer Guillermo Vilas is the most accomplished Argentine player in history.

But Juan Martin del Potro is the best Argentine player in history, says Guido Pella.

Watch: 5 Clay Court Story Lines

The left-handed Vilas won four Grand Slam titles—most of any Argentine—became the second man in Open Era history to win 900 matches, captured 62 titles in his career and compiled a 57-match winning streak on clay.

Del Potro, who became the first man in history to beat Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in succession at a Grand Slam en route to the 2009 U.S. Open championship, helped lead Argentina to its first Davis Cup championship in history.

Pella, del Potro's teammate on the nation's 2016 Davis Cup championship team, says the Tower of Tandil stands supreme among Argentine players.

"For me I think del Potro is the greatest (Argentine) player of all time," Pella told Tennis Channel's Justin Gimelstob after rallying past second-seeded Sam Querrey 2-6, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) to reach the Houston quarterfinals today. "Some people think Vilas (is the greatest) but for me Del Potro is greatest of all time."

In an all-Argentine 2004 French Open final, Gastón Gaudio rallied from a two-set deficit and became the first men's Open Era Grand Slam title winner to save match points in the final with his gripping victory over compatriot Guillermo Coria.

Gaudio became the first Argentine man since Vilas in 1979 to win a Grand Slam title.

Argentine all-surface master David Nalbandian, who reached at least the semifinals of all four Grand Slam tournaments, was runner-up to Lleyton Hewitt in the 2002 Wimbledon final and held a match point before bowing to Andy Roddick in the 2003 US Open semifinals.

"It's really important," Pella said of the nation's tennis tradition. "Because I grew up seeing not Vilas but Nalbandian, Coria, Gaudio, Zabaleta, Chela, I saw them playing so many years. So it's really good when you see those kind of players you want to play, you want to practice more.

"I love Coria—the way he play is unbelievable. I think he's my best idol."

Photo credit: Davis Cup