FOR a man of his height, Juan Martin del Potro achieves surprising success in going under the radar.

The 29-year-old, nicknamed the Tower of Tandil for his 6ft 6in frame, is back in the last 16 of Wimbledon for the first time since 2013 and it may just be time for us all to start re-considering him as a contender for this title.

The 2009 US Open winner has reached that stage without dropping a set in his opening three rounds and if anyone is likely to disrupt the big three of Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic it is him.

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After years painstakingly building his way back up following three separate surgeries on his left wrist, Del Potro is here without a coach but is swinging freely. Content with a tournament which took him clear of David Nalbandian in the all-time lists for Argentinians at SW19, he nonetheless feels there may be more for him at a venue where his best-ever result is reaching the semi-finals in 2013.

While he ultimately lost to Novak Djokovic that year, it was not before he did Andy Murray a favour by keeping the Serb out there for nigh on five hours. He also overcame the Serb en route to a bronze medal on grass at the 2012 Olympics.

“I know my game, it’s adapting well for this surface,” said the 29-year-old, who is finding joy, and experiencing less pain, by using a two-handed backhand more.

“I had my chances to win here few years ago when I lost against Djokovic at the semi-finals. But those guys were playing so good.

“I don’t know how far I will go in this tournament, but I’m confident with my game at this time. I’m going match by match, and will see what could happens. Anyway, I’m doing a good tournament already.”

Del Potro’s only Grand Slam win to date came with him famously having to go through both Nadal and Federer and in all likelihood he will need to do so again, perhaps throwing in a semi-final match up with Djokovic in between.

First, though, he will need to produce the goods against Gilles Simon, a Frenchman who will trade blows with him from the baseline and attempt to drag him into long rallies at every opportunity.

“I’m not thinking about that [who he could have to beat to win the title]. “It is about what I said before: that I’m going match my match, see what could happen in the next one.

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“First I will play against Simon, who is a very smart player. He likes to be solid from the baseline. He likes to do long rallies all the time.

“I will try to be aggressive, doing short points, come in often to the net, and do my game.

“Novak [Djokovic] has been playing every week much better. I saw him in very good shape at the Roland Garros. Now he has the confidence to play on this surface. I think he will be very, very soon in the position he deserves to be.

“Roger and Rafa are the favorites. We also thought that [Marin] Cilic could be a dangerous guy, too, for them, but he lost. But there are many players who can be important in the last matches.”

Perhaps it was just me, but the pay-off line seemed to come with an implicit threat.