Juan Martin del Potro believes there could be a battle of the big boppers at the Australian Open next week if conditions similar to the Sydney International prevail at Melbourne Park.
The Argentine, who hits the measuring tape at 198cm himself, says some fellow tall timber may well be around with the top seeds in the second week if the courts play fast and balls stay low.
“If the conditions are like this tournament, you have big service players like (John) Isner, like (Ivo) Karlovic, too,” del Potro said.
“It’s really tough to return the serve. Maybe (Jerzy) Janowicz, too. He reached semi-finals in Wimbledon serving really well.
“I think the top guys are still the favourites, but in every grand slam you have to expect a surprise.
“Maybe the younger player like Grigor Dimitrov or (Milos) Raonic or maybe (Bernard) Tomic. He’s a local. He has advantage over the rest of the players. If he takes … off the pressure, he can do very well.”
The world No.5 admitted he hadn’t trained for the kind of conditions experienced in Sydney but felt he was adapting and would handle things well if the Australian Open offered up much of the same.
“I think the bounces are really low. Looks like a grass court, you know, because very low bounce and very faster bounce, too,” he said.
“It’s not easy to play on the baseline and feel good on the lines, but I’m trying to do the best I can. If I keep winning, it’s a good signal for me.”
Del Potro has himself improved on the faster courts in recent years, his epic 4 hour 43 minute semi-final loss to eventual champion Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon in 2013 suggesting the 2009 US Open champion is coming to grips with courts that skid through.