Del Potro relishing Federer showdown at Indian Wells

Doug Mendoza
March 19, 2018

Juan Martin del Potro scored a 6-4, 6-7 (8), 7-6 (2) victory Sunday over Roger Federer to win the 2018 BNP Paribas Open championship at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California.

The world number one ranked player was beaten by the Argentine 6-4, 6-7 (8-10), 7-6 (7-2) in a tightly contested final.

Federer, who claimed his 97th singles title with a victory at Rotterdam and regained the world No 1 ranking, becoming the oldest number one in ATP history last month, has made his best-ever start to a season. Del Potro might give Federer some tough points in the desert, but expect Federer to hoist another trophy in straight sets.

In the opening game of the second set, Coric broke Federer's serve but Federer forced his way back in before a long forehand from Coric handed him the set. Even early in the second set I think he had break point chances. Del Potro was furious at fans who were yelling out between serves and trying to put him off, while he also took aim at umpire Fergus Murphy for failing to control them.

"I had to move on with it and say that I was just happy to stay in the game".

There was more drama in the final set as Del Potro prevented Federer from claiming the title at 5-4, his brute power unnerving the 36-year-old, whose frustration was apparent.

The third set went with serve until Federer blasted a cross-court victor to break del Potro's serve and take a 5-4 advantage - breaking a run of 32 consecutive service game wins for the Argentine.

"I'm healthy and that is the most important thing", Del Potro said.

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"It's a wonderful atmosphere, we love coming here, so thank you for everything you've given the tournament and to me".

"Then I won the Davis Cup and I said, 'OK, I don't have any more pressure to play tennis because I won everything I wanted except a Masters 1000.' But today I did that". And it showed as he sprayed errors all over the court and didn't break Coric for the first time until late in the second set.

Like Federer, Del Potro now has 17 wins to his name this season.

It is 18-6 to Federer in past match-ups between the pair, and Del Potro has only won one of their six clashes since October 2013.

"I'm surprising myself. I don't like to compare this time with few years ago, but I'm just enjoying what I have to do every day".

The Swiss superstar was playing a rare 11 a.m. match. Federer then double-faulted and they were back on serve at 6-6 in the breaker. The Argentinian came into the finals as a slight underdog up against Swiss great Roger Federer.

Federer and del Potro are scheduled to meet in the final tomorrow after the women's final between Japan's Naomi Osaka and Russia's Daria Kasatkina.

Other reports by GizPress

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