Juan Martín del Potro shocked the world today by upsetting Roger Federer in five sets, coming back two sets to one down, to beat world #1 Roger Federer in the US Open Finals. The 20-year old underdog was even more impressive considering he had beaten Rafael Nadal the day before in the semi-finals, proving that victory was no fluke. Del Potro was ranked sixth, so it wasn’t a huge historic upset victory like unseeded Kim Clijsters’ victory earlier in the day. However, considering the dominance of Federer and Nadal of late that it sometimes seemed the only one who could beat each was the other, del Potro’s victory was a huge upset. It was doubly so considering del Potro beat both of them on consecutive days!
Del Potro won 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-7 (4) and 6-2 for his first tennis major, and ended Roger Federer’s 5 year winning streak at the US Open. Match point is shown below.
It was the first time the US Open Finals went to five sets since 1999, when Andre Agassi beat Todd Martin. It was the first time since 1977 that an Argentinian won the US Open (Guillermo Villas over American Jimmy Connors 2–6, 6–3, 7–6(4), 6–0 when the US Open was on clay).
At times, it seemed del Potro lost a little focus, like when he had the lead in the fourth set after breaking Federer, only to lose the set in a tie-breaker. Yet, he always seemed to get it back to end up winning the match, like how he broke Federer’s serve to win the match.
With a tournament like that, going through the two dominant players of the day when not even 21 years old, the young Argentine has an incredible future ahead of him. Perhaps the next lesson he has to learn will be one of focus, to make these victories easier…. but maybe not.
The entertainment value of the ups and downs, back and forth of such a match as the one he just won is what made it a classic!
Congratulations, Juan Martín! It’s nice to see a fresh new face on the men’s tennis scene! Congrats also has to go to Roger Federer on a great match, tournament and absolutely incredible run over the past 6 years at the US Open. Interestingly, Federer’s last lost at the US Open was to another Argentinean, David Nalbandian, in 2003. David was not in this year’s US Open, recovering from hip surgery.
But Roger Federer still had the shot of the tournament, probably shot of the year, and arguably shot of US Open tournament history!
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