Juan Martín Del Potro beat Roger Federer at the final of Indian Wells tournament yesterday, winning the first Masters 1000 of his already prolific career. The Argentine defeated the top-ranked player in the world (and arguably of history) by 6-4, 6-7 (8-10) y 7-6 (7-2), putting an end to Federer’s undefeated streak of 2018.
In an extremely intense game, Delpo had a match point in the tiebreak of the second set when he was up 8-7, but an unforced error prevented him from sealing his victory. Two further errors took the match to a third definitive set, where both players displayed a level of skill and perseverance that perfectly illustrated why they had reached the final.
None could beat the other’s serve during the first eight games until Federer did so in the ninth to secure a 5-4 lead and serve for the championship. However, Del Potro showed once again why he is such a clutch player: he saved two match points, coming back from a 40-15 disadvantage and tied the game again. The two players then won their respective serving games and clashed in a decisive tiebreak.
The parity that predominated throughout the entire game disappeared here. Aided by two double faults from Federer, Del Potro got a quick 6-1 lead and closed the game in his second match point, following a missed forehand from the Swiss legend.
As mentioned, this is the first Masters 1000 tournament win for Del Potro, and the most important of his career after the 2009 US Open – in which he also beat Federer in the final – and the two Olympic medals he won in the 2012 and 2016 London and Río games (Bronze and Silver, respectively).
The victory has also seen him move up in the ATP ranking, as he holds the 7th position since today. His next challenge begins today with another Masters 1000 tournament that will also take place in the United States: Delpo will take the courts of the Miami Open to continue consolidating his auspicious run and further demonstrate why he’s one of the best players of this season without a doubt.