Roger Federer's wonderful streak ends in thrilling Indian Wells final

Carla Harmon
March 21, 2018

World number one Roger Federer extended his season win streak to 17 matches, booking his spot in the Indian Wells final by beating Borna Coric 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 on Saturday (Mar 17).

Del Potro, who defeated Federer in last year's US Open semi-final, saved three match points in the deciding set before the Swiss legend struggled to serve out.

The win also meant that Federer opens a season with a 17-0 win record (he achieved a 16-0 start way back in 2006).

Juan Martin Del Potro, once one of tennis' hottest young talents before his career was derailed by injuries, won the Indian Wells Masters on Sunday two years after nearly quitting in frustration.

The 29-year-old Del Potro, who won the 2009 US Open but has been hampered during by injuries during his career, said at his on-court trophy presentation: "I'm still shaking".

Del Potro has struggled with injury since beating Federer in the 2009 US Open final to win his first grand slam, missing nearly the entire 2010 season after undergoing surgery on his wrist.

The Swiss maestro served for the set, and the title, but del Potro dug deep to save three match points, two at 40-15 down, before breaking back to send the stanza to a tiebreak, which the Argentine dominated.

The world number eight was quickly into his stride, winding up that famous forehand to good effect as early as the third game by thumping one down the line to secure a break to love.

"He's the favourite to win tomorrow", Del Potro said. Although he went down a break twice in the third set he stuck around and began to prey on Coric's inexperience.

Juan Martin Del Potro, has the knack of winning against all odds, and he did just the same on Sunday. The people were excited on every point. But I had already missed my opportunities then, but I still, I think I would like to play that tie-break again, because I don't know what the hell happened. "And then it goes very quickly in the breaker", Federer said.

"But thank God I'm here and healthy, and I'm playing tennis again".

"I woke up early this morning, got out, practiced and tried to get a sweat going".

"After all my problems, after all my surgeries, I couldn't believe I'm here winning a Masters 1000 and beating Roger".

Del Potro won almost 90 percent of his first service points and converted four of his five break point opportunities against Raonic, who never created a break point against the towering Argentine. Federer lost his first set, which is extremely rare these days, but he still managed to win 75 percent of his service points and do just enough with the return to get the victory. I have everything that I want, and I want to keep improving my game to see what can I do. "But I beat him in the past, and I know I can repeat that".

"And obviously there is not too much time to dwell over it".

But as they say, winning when you don't deserve to is the mark of a true champion.

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