Juan Martin del Potro over the moon after beating Federer

Juan Martin del Porto reached his fourth Masters 1000 final of his career on Saturday
Juan Martin del Porto reached his fourth Masters 1000 final of his career on Saturday
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21 March, 2018

Juan Martin Del Potro became the first man to beat Roger Federer in 2018.

In one of the best matches of the season, del Potro, who beat Federer at the US Open past year, erased three match points against the five-time champion 6-4, 6-7 (8), 7-6 (2) and took home $1.3 million winner's check on Sunday, reports Xinhua news agency.

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". Rally Length - Points Won 0-4 Shots (65% total points) Del Potro = 80 won Federer = 67 won 5-9 Shots (28% total points) Del Potro = 34 won Federer = 28 won 10+ Shots (7% total points) Del Potro = 6 won Federer = 10 won Just 10 per cent of Del Potro's total points through six matches reached double digits in rally length.

Del Potro meanwhile will be looking to make it three tournament wins in a row after victories at Indian Wells and Acapulco. Overall he holds a commanding 18-7 lead but in finals it's a different story, including the 2009 US Open which Del Potro won 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2. The compelling contest was concluded in two hours, 42 minutes.

Del Potro went on to dominate the deciding tiebreak, winning 7-2 to claim his maiden Masters 1000 title.

Del Potro managed to force a tie-break but he was no match for Federer, who outlasted his powerful opponent to finally force a decider. However, Federer pounced with his best return game of the match to break for 5-4.

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Federer's five Indian Wells titles included a year ago, when he beat fellow Swiss Stan Wawrinka. I have everything what I want, and I want to keep improving my game to see what can I do. "The people were excited on every single point", Del Potro said.

Roger Federer's incredible winning streak to start 2018 came to an end in a thrilling BNP Paribas Open final on Monday morning (AEDT) that saw tempers flare. But for all the camaraderie, this was pure, intense competition and also a particularly fine tennis match, filled with winners on the run, drop shots and phenomenal fast-twitch defence from Federer as he repeatedly half-volleyed del Potro's huge shots from the baseline or closer to the net. (Having said that), Juan Martin well played today. He'll remain the top-ranked player in the world and receive $654,380 in prize money. "I am still surprising myself and I want to keep surprising the tennis tour", Del Potro said.

"I'm happy for Juan Marti ... it was a great match, honestly", Federer said. While Federer struggled mightily to find the court with the match on the line, Del Potro was finding another level.

"You deserve it - you were the better player at the end".

Federer was enjoying his best-ever start to a tennis season after his win over Borna Coric in the semi-final that took his tally to 17 wins with no losses as he was the favorite for a third title of the year heading into the final.


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