Del Potro is the dark horse of the Australian Open

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Juan Martin del Potro looks ready to put a stop-start 2013 season behind him and take on the current men’s tennis hierarchy at the Australian Open this January.

The Argentine is long overdue an extended run in Melbourne after blowing hot and cold for much of the past few years since his famous US Open win in 2009, which appeared to herald the emergence of a new world-beater in the game.

Ladbrokes has positioned the 25-year-old as the fourth favourite to claim victory in Australia, but at a price of 14/1 he remains some way off the current top trio of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

At present the Serbian is the runaway favourite to win at 6/4, having done exactly that in each of the previous three campaigns, with his Spanish rival second in the prices at 5/2 and the Scot on at 5/1.

But if anyone can defeat the seemingly unbeatable Djokovic, it is his Argentine rival, with Del Potro famously ending the world No.1’s run of 22 straight victories with a win in the semi finals at Indian Wells earlier this year.

And even in defeat at the semi finals of Wimbledon the South American gave the Serb a run for his money, losing in five closely-contested sets despite playing with a knee injury incurred during his straight sets quarter-final victory over the heavily-fancied David Ferrer.

His performance at SW19 will have been particularly encouraging for the Argentine, who found his season severely disrupted by a viral infection earlier in the year, which ruled him out of competing at Roland Garros and took some time to recover from.

Prior to his run at Wimbledon, Del Potro had enjoyed little success at the grass court event, only progressing as far as the fourth round, and while his Australian Open record is far from impressive on paper, a similar upturn in his fortunes is not out of the question.

Though victory still looks a tough ask, backing him to win the tournament as an each way bet still offers rich rewards, provided he makes the final.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.