Del Potro Rallies To End Djokovic's Streak
Indian Wells, U.S.A.
Seventh seed Juan Martin del Potro battled back to oust World No. 1 Novak Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the BNP Paribas Open semifinals on Saturday, ending the Serbian’s 22-match win streak.
"I was doing a very good match until the third set, but Novak had the chance to beat me when I was down 3-Love," said del Potro. "But I came back soon and that gave me a little confidence to come back in that set. Then also the crowd wanted to watch more tennis and [it] helped me to play my best tennis in the end. I think it was my best match in this tournament, for sure."
Del Potro has defeated back-to-back Top 3 opponents at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, adding to his win over third-ranked Andy Murray in the quarterfinals to reach his second ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final. The Argentine is looking to win his second trophy in a row, following his triumph at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament in Rotterdam (d. Benneteau).
"I am playing well. The results show my level," Del Potro said. "Of course I feel [there are] some things to improve in my game like using slices. Also ,I would like to come to the net more often. But I'm working on that. Every tournament [there] is a chance to do it. I think I'm doing well here in Indian Wells."
Djokovic lost his first match since falling in the second round of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Paris to Sam Querrey in 2012. The 25 year old opened this season by becoming the first man in the Open Era to win three successive Australian Open titles (d. Murray) and lifting the trophy in Dubai (d. Berdych).
"All the credit to my opponent today," said Djokovic. "He deserved to win because he was more composed in the important moments and he played the right shots. He stepped into the court, where, on the other side, I made a lot of unforced errors and was at the back of the court [and was] too passive."
After splitting sets, Djokovic opened a 3-0 lead against del Potro in the third set. With the crowd behind him, del Potro elevated his game to get back on serve, and as the set went on, the Tandil native began to make an impact in Djokovic's service games. Finally, at 4-4, del Potro converted his fifth break to put the match on his racquet. He closed out the encounter by hitting his fourth ace to complete the comeback victory in two hours and 50 minutes.
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