Juan Martin del Potro hands Roger Federer first loss in 2018 to win Indian Wells title | Zagsblog
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Friday / August 7.
  • Juan Martin del Potro hands Roger Federer first loss in 2018 to win Indian Wells title

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    INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Juan Martin del Potro rallied from three match points down in the third set and beat top-ranked Roger Federer 6-4, 6-7 (8), 7-6 (2) to win the BNP Paribas Open, handing the Swiss superstar his first loss of the year.

    Del Potro became the first Argentine winner in the 42-year history of the desert tournament. Federer’s 17-match winning streak — the best start of his career — ended.

    Del Potro held a match point at 8-7 in the second-set tiebreaker, but he lost the final three points on his own errors that allowed Federer to force a third set.

    They were on serve in the third until Federer broke for a 5-4 lead with a backhand winner off del Potro’s serve.

    Federer had a chance to serve out the match, holding two match points. But del Potro staved both off to force deuce.

    Federer’s forehand went long, giving del Potro a break point. Federer answered with a backhand that hit del Potro at the net and then gained his third match point on del Potro’s forehand error.

    Del Potro recovered to deuce with a forehand winner. Federer mis-hit a forehand high into the air beyond the baseline, giving del Potro another break point. The Argentine cashed in with a well-placed forehand in the corner to tie the set, 5-all.

    In the tiebreaker, Del Potro raced to a 6-1 lead, helped by two of Federer’s double faults. He closed out the win on his third match point when Federer’s forehand failed.

    Del Potro survived three-setters against countryman Leonardo Mayer in the fourth round and Phillip Kohlschreiber in the quarterfinals. It was his first win against Federer since last year’s U.S. Open quarters. Del Potro trails in their series 18-7.

    Del Potro arrived at Indian Wells having won a title in Acapulco and back in the top 10 rankings. He nearly quit the sport after enduring multiple wrist surgeries in recent years.

    Naomi Osaka Japan won the women’s title 6-3, 6-2 over Russian Daria Kasatkina.

    Photo: AP

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.