Del Potro Edges Out Messi as Argentina’s Top Sportsman

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By James Patrick Quizon | December 18, 2013 6:21 PM EST

Lionel Messi is considered the best footballer in the world for four straight years now. But this year, he’s not even the best sportsman in his home country.

Tennis star Juan Del Potro was named Argentina’s Sportsman of the Year, beating out the football superstar in the awarding held during the Sporto Argentino Festival.

"I am very happy to have received the Gold Prize of Clarin," del Potro said in a Facebook post."It was a great year, much better than I expected. I was there, fighting in the first place. The main thing is I feel very close to the top of the world again. I'm already looking at next season."

The 25-year-old Argentinean finished with a 51-15 win-loss record in his 2013 matches and finished the year as World No. 5 in the year end ATP Rankings.

This is the highest ranking Del Potro has achieved since 2010 when he was ranked at No. 4.

The tennis pro from Tandil, Argentina, had a total of four titles—none from the majors— during the season, winning in Basel, Tokyo, Washington and Rotterdam.

He qualified in the ATP World Tour Finals but failed to advance to the knockout rounds. Del Potro lost a classic five-setter against Serbian Novak Djokovic, 5-7, 6-4, 6-7(2), 7-6(6), 3-6, in the semifinals of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships.

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