The nature of streaks is to arrive at their inevitable ends; and Roger Federer’s, best-start-to-a-season, streak of 17 consecutive wins, came to a screeching halt with his 4-6, 7-6 (8), and 6-7 (2) loss to Juan Martin Del Potro at the Indian Wells Final on Sunday.
Juan Martin Del Potro wins his first Masters 1000 title.
Juan Martin Del Potro, with yesterday’s gritty win over Roger, won his first Masters 1000 title, and it’d have been a terrible shame if Juan Martin had ended his career without one. Del Potro has now beaten Roger Federer for the only slam and Master’s 1000 that he has won. The match, for the most part, was controlled by Juan Martin but Federer, being Federer, always found a way to escape premature death by the killer-forehand. Only a Roger Federer could have extended Juan Martin to a third set yesterday, and Federer took it even further and had multiple match points in the third. How does this nearly 37-year-old geezer do it?
Del Potro’s forehand caused much of the devastation in the final.
We have always believed that Juan Martin, if playing his very best tennis, is one of those rare few who can defeat a post-2016 Roger Federer, as long as Federer is having a bad day at the office. Del Potro dominated from the baseline and was undoubtedly at his very best and Federer was nowhere near his top-level in the match even though he managed to summon all the energy, experience, and guile to win the second set tie-break and also break Del Potro in the third to lead 5-4 with two match points. However, Roger did not play like the man who believed and could not convert those match-points. Losing that opportunity took a lot out of Roger, who had managed to escape against Borna Coric under somewhat similar circumstances in the semis. Del Potro’s forehand, however, is the mother of all WMDs and it was blazing all guns against Federer and wouldn’t let anyone come between him and his first Masters 1000.
Roger Federer was not at his best whereas Del Potro was in the zone.
In the end, Del Potro consistently punished Roger with his forehand. Roger Federer was determined to fight until the end, but couldn’t summon the magic to convert the three match points he had earned for himself. He made too many errors and while many were a result of the pace in Del Potro’s ground shots, most, however, were silly unforced from being sluggish and not sharp enough to face an in-form Del Potro.