Del Potro ends Federer 2018 unbeaten run with Indian Wells victory

(Reuters) - Big serving Argentine Juan Martin del Potro handed world number one Roger Federer his first loss of the year with a tense 6-4 6-7(8) 7-6(2) victory in the BNP Paribas Open final at Indian Wells on Sunday. The nailbiting final lasted almost three hours as the raucous Southern California crowd cheered the 36-year-old Federer along, and both players took occasional issue with the chair umpire.

Defending champion Federer had chalked up 17 consecutive wins in 2018, a run which included the Swiss winning his 20th grand slam title at the Australian Open, before his defeat by del Potro. The red-hot del Potro has now won 11 consecutive matches as he followed up his success in Acapulco by earning his first ever Masters 1000 title.

“It’s difficult to describe with words, it’s like a dream. I’ve been working hard to get this,” del Potro told an oncourt reporter after securing the biggest win of his career since lifting the U.S. Open title in 2009.

“(After my last wrist surgery) I can’t believe I’m here winning a Masters tournament. It’s amazing.”

(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

03/18/2018 20:05

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