Del Potro stops the Roger Federer juggernaut

Mar 21, 2018, 07:58
Del Potro stops the Roger Federer juggernaut

The tall Argentine with a rocket of a forehand has endured years of injury-induced heartbreak but on Sunday was back at the very top of the game, beating no less than Roger Federer in an enthralling Indian Wells final. Pictured: Del Potro shakes hands with Federer at the trophy presentation after a three-set victory in the ATP final during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California, March 18, 2018.

"It was disgusting moment for me", Del Potro said about needing to save three match points at 4-5 in the third set.

After slipping outside the world's top 400, Del Potro returned to the top five in 2013 but another wrist injury meant more surgery and led him to miss the majority of the 2014 and 2015 season.

Del Potro was tipped as a future world No. 1 in 2009 after the then 20-year-old reached the Australian Open quarter-finals and the French Open semi-finals before capturing his maiden Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows.

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Del Potro saved three match points before closing out victory in two hours 42 minutes. Osaka, just the third unseeded woman to win the event (Serena Williams, Kim Clijsters) and thus did not receive a first-round bye, went through Maria Sharapova, Aga Radwanska, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep to get to the final and lost just one set all week, courtesy of the promising Maria Sakkari. "It was maybe a point here or there, maybe a shot, maybe a forehand, maybe a chip".

This is no time to press the panic button for Federer. He handed Federer his first loss of the year, snapping the Swiss superstar's 17-match winning streak that was the best of his career.

Del Potro said the first order of business when he gets to south Florida is to do some celebrating with his team. He also beat Federer in the quarterfinals of last year's U.S. Open.

The two champions weren't just fighting each other, but also chair umpire Fergus Murphy, with Federer repeatedly barking at him over missed calls, while del Potro was irate over Murphy's failure to corral the raucous and disrespectful pro-Federer crowd.

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Federer lost the 2018 Indian Wells final to Juan Martin Del Potro. "It was Juan Martin and myself", he said. I just enjoying this life, playing around the world.

Del Potro is therefore a shining example on two fronts. "Well done and enjoy the moment".

Considering those ingredients which make, in effect, the ideal tennis player, it is hard to imagine that he would not have gone on to challenge the big four in the years that followed his triumph at the US Open in 2009. There was not much between us, but you deserved it.

But tennis is a game of abrupt momentum shifts and tiny margins, and though del Potro has had more than his share of misfortune through the years, this turned out to be his lucky day in Indian Wells.

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