Published: Tue, March 20, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Del Potro hands Federer first loss of season, wins Indian Wells title

Del Potro hands Federer first loss of season, wins Indian Wells title

Del Potro held a match point at 8-7 in the second-set tiebreaker, but he lost the final three points on his own errors that allowed Federer to force a third set.

"I'm excited to keep surprising myself, the tour and seeing what I can do". "I'm doing this because I love it".

Del Potro arrived in the Californian desert on the back of a title win in Acapulco but had far from a smooth ride against an agitated Federer, who simply would not give up on his quest for a sixth Indian Wells title.

Juan Martin del Potro deals Roger Federer first loss of year in final
Del Potro hands Federer first loss of season, wins Indian Wells title

With Federer on top 6-5 in the second set tie break, he appeared to fire an ace to clinch the set, but a late challenge by del Potro overturned the call and the Swiss was double faulted.

Del Potro saved three match points in the deciding set in Indian Wells as the Swiss great failed to serve out for his 18th consecutive win at the start of 2018. "I played a great match and had the chance the win in two sets but I made a mistake with my forehand which I couldn't believe that mistake", Del Potro told Sky Sports after recording his seventh win over Federer in 25 career meetings.

Del Potro will compete in this week's Miami Open, where WTA Indian Wells champion Naomi Osaka will face former world No. 1 Serena Williams in the first round. Serving 40-15, any game I probably win - I don't know what the stat is - 90-something percent.' Federer exchanged a few words with the chair umpire Fergus Murphy during the tense match.

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With nothing to separate the two after 12 games, the set went to a tiebreak and Federer celebrated victory at 7-5 as Del Potro's return of serve sailed long.

I had already missed my opportunities then, but standing at the trophy ceremony, I think I would like to play that tie-breaker again because I don't know what the hell happened.

"I can not believe I won this tournament, beating Roger in a great final and level of tennis", del Potro said. Federer mishit a forehand high into the air beyond the baseline, giving del Potro another break point.

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However, del Potro can now drive his backhand effectively with two hands again without having to rely on a one-handed slice. "The people were excited on every single point", Del Potro said.

To Del Potro, he added: "Well done, you deserve it, you were the better player in the end".

"Roger and I were nervous during the whole match, and we felt that on court. I still see the positives at the end of the day".

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