Juan Martin del Potro was taken aback by his triumphant display at the Indian Wells Masters, where he dethroned defending champion Roger Federer in a thrilling final.
Del Potro saved three match points as the 2009 US Open champion stunned world number one Federer 6-4 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-2) on Sunday.
Federer was on the verge of a record sixth Indian Wells title – which would have delivered him a 28th Masters 1000 crown and the 98th title of his illustrious career – when he brought up championship point at 5-4 in the final set.
But Del Potro's brute power proved too much to handle as he snapped Federer's 17-match winning streak to claim a maiden Masters trophy.
"It's so big," Del Potro said afterwards. "I cannot believe I won this tournament, beating Roger in a great final and level of tennis. We played great tennis today.
"I'm number six in the world, I think? Which is so good for me.
"And I'm excited to keep working... I just want to keep winning titles like this if I can."
Del Potro, who upstaged Federer in the US Open decider nine years ago, needed almost three hours to see off the 20-time grand slam champion.
It was a memorable contest, which saw Argentina's Del Potro waste a match point in a second-set tie-break, though he remained focused to notch just his seventh win in 25 attempts against Federer.
"It was an unbelievable match in all the ways. I mean, we played a great level of tennis. The people were excited on every single point," Del Potro said.
"Roger and I were nervous during the whole match, and we felt that on court... Unfortunately, I couldn't stay calm in the tie-break of the second set, but then the calms come again in the end of the match and I played good in the tie-break."
14 de diciembre 2018
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