Men’s Final:  Roger Federer (SUI) vs.  Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG)
Federer led their head-to-head 18:6 coming into this final; however, three of Del Potro’s victories over Federer came in finals. Could he make this number four?
Could the great Federer be suffering from a bout of nerves? It seemed that way in the first set. Federer struggled on his second serve and the one break opportunity he presented to Del Potro, the Argentine seized it for the first set lead in the fifth game. He broke Federer at love (0-40) and maintained the lead to win the first set.
Federer is number one because he does not quit and as expected he came back in the second set. Both players were at their best in the set, entertaining the fans with brilliant tennis. They won almost identical percentages on their first and second serves and saved the same number of break points to force a tiebreak. Now it was Del Potro’s turn to succumb to a bout of nerves. He had an opportunity to close it out in straight sets; however, Federer denied him to force a third set.
It was a match filled with drama. Federer was edgy and Del Potro was tense. The crowd also played a role in annoying the players, which added more tension to the match. Angry, but not discouraged after dropping the second set, the Argentine redoubled his effort in the final set. Yet, things looked grim when he was broken in the ninth game.
The unthinkable happened, Federer cracked. At 5-4 up and serving for the match, he was broken from 40-15 up. Del Potro saved three championship points, held his serve and forced the Swiss to hold his serve to stay in the match. It was only fitting that the match was decided in a second tiebreak. This time, it was dominated by the Argentine and Federer was shell-shocked at how quickly the set and match ended. Del Potro won 6-4, 6-7(8), 7-6(2) to claim his first Masters 1000 title. He denied Federer his sixth BNP Paribas Open title and his twenty-eighth Masters 1000 title.
SOURCE OF IMAGE: Zimbio.com (Harry How/Getty Images North America: Juan Martin Del Potro).
Inserted photo: Roger Federer (serveandrally)