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. "It was tough for me to keep fighting in the third set but I survived when I broke his serve at 5-4, saving match point". The 36-year-old was 17-0 in 2018 - his best ever start to a season - and was seeking his third title of the year having won the Australian Open and the Rotterdam Open. I wouldn't be surprised if he adds another grand slam title "spoiler" to his list of accomplishments this year, especially playing with such a fearlessly big game like he did on Sunday. Federer even hit a volley at the Argentine's leg at one point, resulting in a glare from the usually calm Argentine. I'm No6 in the world, I think? Which is so good to me.
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. Let's not forget that he's one of the very few to have attained a Grand Slam title during the reign of Federer-Nadal-Djokovic-Murray, the 2009 U.S. Open win over, you guessed it, Federer.
Del Potro became the first Argentine victor in the 42-year history of the desert tournament.
"First of all I want to congratulate Roger to a great week and great success in this historical year".
He had every right to be bitterly disappointed after the loss but showed the true measure of the man, the champion he is paying respect to del Potro during his runner's-up acceptance speech.
Del Potro saved three match points before closing out victory in two hours 42 minutes.
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Federer had to save a championship point after some superb, quick serves from Del Potro and then finally closed out the set on his fifth attempt.
Del Potro now has 400 career match wins, becoming the second Argentine to reach the milestone.
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.
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And Federer made him pay for his error, winning the two following points to take the match to a third and deciding set.
Juan Martin del Potro keeps surprising himself.
"I would like to play that tiebreaker again because I don't know what the hell happened", Federer said. "I had a great run and a great week on and off the court". "I still see the positives at the end of the day".
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But the reaction has been pretty negative, with Liverpool fans insisting Salah should keep No.11 and make it legendary. "The goals he brings are invaluable and he is just so good to play with".