Juan Martin del Potro had a dream two weeks at Indian Wells this year, battling through to his fourth Masters 1000 final and then edging Roger Federer in an absolute nail-biter to take home the trophy.
Here are 10 things the Argentine fan favorite accomplished during his hot streak in the desert:
1. He won his first Masters 1000 title. Playing in his 52nd Masters 1000 event, and having fallen short by just one match three times before (he was a runner-up at Canada in 2009 and both Indian Wells and Shanghai in 2013), del Potro finally captured his very first Masters 1000 title.
2. He also won the second-biggest title of his career. His biggest is obviously the 2009 US Open, and now—eight and a half years later—this is his second biggest. Before this one, his second-biggest title was a tie between nine ATP tour 500-level titles. He has 22 total career titles now.
3. He improved to 4-2 against Federer in finals. Del Potro still trails Federer in their overall head-to-head, 18-7, but he’s now 4-2 against him in finals, winning at the US Open in 2009, Basel in both 2012 and 2013 and now Indian Wells in 2018 (and losing at Rotterdam in 2012 and Basel in 2017).
4. He scored his ninth career win over a world No. 1. Only four active players have more career wins over world No. 1s than del Potro: Federer (10), Djokovic (12), Murray (12) and Nadal (19).
5. He’s now back up to No. 6—his highest ranking in more than three years. The Indian Wells victory pushed del Potro from No. 8 to No. 6, which is his highest ranking since he was No. 5 the week of February 24, 2014. It’s incredible given he fell as low as No. 1045 due to injury in the time between.
He’s now two spots away from his career-high No. 4, which he first reached on January 11, 2010.
Match point of Del Potro’s win over Federer in Indian Wells:
6. He’s now No. 2 in the ATP Race To London. We’re still early in the season, but del Potro has now moved past Cilic to take the No. 2 position behind Federer in the year-long race to the ATP Finals.
7. He snapped Federer’s best start to a season ever. Del Potro will go down as the player who ended Federer’s best start to a season in his career—the Swiss was 17-0 going into the final.
8. He’s also the only player to beat Federer twice since the start of 2017. The Swiss is now 69-6 since he rejoined the tour at the start of 2017, and two of those losses are to del Potro (2017 US Open and 2018 Indian Wells). Zverev, Goffin, Donskoy and Haas have each beaten Federer once.
9. He surpassed 400 career match wins. Del Potro’s semifinal win over Raonic was his 400th career match win, making him just the second Argentine ever to cross that milestone (Vilas had 929).
10. He’s the first Argentine to win Indian Wells. Del Potro’s actually only the second South American man or woman ever to win the Indian Wells title—Chile’s Marcelo Rios won it back in 1998.
Del Potro will bring an 11-match, two-tournament winning streak into Miami over the next two weeks.
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