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Del Potro claims Indian Wells title

21 March 2018, 07:55 | Stacy Ballard

Roger Federer reveals HUGE doubts ahead of Indian Wells final

ATP Indian Wells Del Potro saves 3 MP's to topple Roger Federer

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

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.

Croft was left in amazement by Del Potro's lethal forehand which eventually wore the world No 1 down as he rallied from three match points down in the third set to record a sensational victory.

After slipping outside the world's top 400, Del Potro returned to the top five in 2013 but another wrist injury meant more surgery and led him to miss the majority of the 2014 and 2015 season.

The injury-prone big man has beaten Federer in seven of 25 attempts, including a famous triumph in the 2009 US Open final, but he has found it hard to reach those levels in recent years due to troubles with his body.

A Federer drop shot, expertly chased down by Del Potro, was followed by a lob and then a hotdog from the Argentine, before two more volleys from the 36-year-old brought an end to a sublime point and brought the crowd to its feet.

Federer survived a match point in the second set tiebreaker to force the third set. Federer mishit a forehand high into the air beyond the baseline, giving del Potro another break point. However, Federer pounced with his best return game of the match to break for 5-4.

He has regained form over the last two seasons but, although he entered the final on a 10-match winning streak after clinching victory in Acapulco for his 21st singles crown last month, he was still the underdog against Federer.

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"I have everything that I want, and I want to keep improving my game to see what can I do", he said.

"It was an unbelievable match in all the ways", del Potro said of Sunday's duel. It was his first win against Federer since last year's US Open quarters.

Osaka, 20, won the first title of her career at the expense of her friend, fellow 20-year-old Daria "Dasha" Kasatkina, 6-3, 6-2.

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

"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.

The crowd were off their seats when Federer produced a brilliant victor at full stretch in the first game of the second set and rose again when he won an epic rally which Del Potro kept alive with a between-the-legs shot from the baseline. I am just enjoying my life and playing around the world. (Having said that), Juan Martin well played today. I mean, we played a great level of tennis.

"Not much in between us, but you deserve it", the Swiss told del Potro at the trophy ceremony.

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