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Del Potro edges Federer in a thriller


The Argentine claimed his first ATP Masters 1000 title by sensationally ending Roger Federer's flawless start to 2018 in the Indian Wells Masters final on Sunday.

Federer returned to the world No.1 ranking after victories at the Australian Open and in Rotterdam but his 17-match streak was halted by Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro at Indian Wells.

While expressing frustration at his inability to capitalise on key moments, Federer praised del Potro for holding his nerves and getting to finish line.

"I'm still shaking. I can not believe I won this tournament, beating Roger in a great final and level of tennis".

"At the end you saw we are appreciative of the finals that we played against each other, which I think is really important for both of us".

"I've been working hard to get this, and I did it after all my problems, all my surgeries". It seemed imminent that there would be just one more point to be played, but instead, there would be another 26, and it would be Del Potro that would win 65 per cent (17/26) of them.

Though he seems young, the Argentine is already almost 30-years-old.

Asked on Sunday if beating the world No 1 in Indian Wells and winning consecutive finals is a sign that he is back, Del Potro said, "I don't know". (Having said that), Juan Martin well played today.

Del Potro, who had already won his first title of the season at Acapulco earlier in March, will be looking for the 23rd of his career at next week's Miami Open. "The people were excited on every single point", Del Potro said.

Roger Federer
GETTYRoger Federer is hoping to win his third title of 2018

"It was a great match, honestly", Federer said.

He failed to break the dominance of Federer, Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, though, and a string of career-threatening wrist injuries nearly forced him to give up on tennis.

"I was surprised how long it took him to get more and more confident coming over, but I feel like he's finally there".

World number eight Del Potro is back in the top ten rankings this season for the first time since 2014.

Del Potro's triumph in Indian Wells, and indeed the 11-match winning streak he is now on, will have raised hopes that he can possibly win another Slam. I just enjoying this life, playing around the world. "I never miss that forehand".

It was an emotional match for both players as each took turns questioning the chair umpire.

When Federer's final shot landed long, del Potro struck the ball high into the stands straight off the bounce to celebrate.

Del Potro recovered to deuce with a forehand victor. Much like the women's tournament, the destination did not live up to the journey, as Federer echoed his earlier mistake and hit not one, but two more double faults as del Potro ran away with the breaker for a 6-4, 6-7 (8), 7-6 (2) victory.




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