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Del Potro pips Messi to Argentinian award

ESPN staff
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Juan Martin del Potro ran Novak Djokovic extremely close at Wimbledon © Getty Images
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Juan Martin del Potro has been named Argentina's Sportsman of the Year, edging out Barcelona star Lionel Messi to the award.

Del Potro, who became the first player to win four ATP 500 titles on the tennis circuit in 2013, took the honours at the Sporto Argentino Festival. Del Potro also reached two Masters 1000 finals, and lost out to Novak Djokovic in a thrilling semi-final at Wimbledon in under five hours, the longest last-four encounter at SW19.

"I am very happy to have received the Gold Prize of Clarin," Del Potro posted on his Facebook page. "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."

Messi, who has won the Ballon d'Or a record three times, struck 60 goals in 50 appearances for Barcelona last season, but with 14 goals in 16 this season has been on the sidelines with a hamstring injury since November and should return in January.

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