Juan Martin del Potro ended Roger Federer’s best ever start to a season to become the first Argentine to win a top-tier Masters series event. This win gives Del Potro his first Masters 1000 title of his career.
The 29-year-old had to stave off match point by Federer on three occasions in the final set, setting up the deciding tiebreaker where he finally overcame the top-ranked Swiss star.
“I feel frustrated that I let an opportunity like this go by,” Federer said after the match.
"It's a bit disappointing but that's how it goes," Federer says in press. "But well done to him. I lost my serve a little bit (in the tiebreak) and he was clean."
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 18, 2018
As for Del Potro, he dedicated his Masters 1000 victory to his beloved dog Cesar who recently passed.
“I’m so happy to win a title like this. I lost many finals in Masters 1000s but today was the day for me. I played unbelievable tennis, almost three hours, and beating Roger for the first time this year, that means a lot to me.”
When asked what he expected of himself for the remainder of the season, he said:
“I don’t know, I’m just going my way and I’m very pleased with my level of tennis.
“I’m excited to keep surprising myself, the tour and seeing what I can do.”
Juan Martin Del Potro is now the only Argentine winner in the history of the tournament.