Del Potro, Soderling, Berdych etc- they're all about equivalent. That is, they can serve and return big, bludgeon ground strokes, but not much more than that. They can't really change tactics based on an opponent, but when they're on, they hit every line. I don't see them doing more than the occasional great slam run. I don't actually seeing many players in that style having consistent success. Even the great Marat, who was an exceptional volleyer as well, wasn't all that consistent and couldn't really build on his triumphs for any length of time.
If anything they're all poor man's versions of Marat.
Agree to some extent. Safin is the latest tall (6'4 as Soderling) world number 1 and also probably the only "big hitting" player to be ranked that high.
Del Potro and Soderling are both career high #4s. One got a slam and the other a master and way more titles. In the end Soderling has a more pure attacking style and is way better to be aggressive with his BH than Delpo and also has a more powerful serve. Delpo might have slightly better movement and a better running forehand and also is 4 years younger so got time on his side.
I question if Del Potro will ever be as good at sending winners from both sides and if players focused to hit to his BH all the time he can't really take control of the rallies the same way as Soderling. On the other hand he is a bit more patient and rarely start to spray errors as badly as Soderling/Berdych can do on an off-day.
We'll see how Delpo develop from here but he is 23 after all and his game will likely not see any radical changes. 2012 will give a lot of answers for the big hitters. 2011 turned out to be a somewhat disappointing year slam wise.