Despite ups and downs in the current season, Diego Schwartzman is still ranked in the top-15, winning one title and reaching the quarters in Barcelona and Roland Garros. Diego will try to go deep in Toronto this week, and he shared his favorite Masters 1000 memories ahead of the event.
Asked about the most outstanding Masters 1000 encounter he has watched, Diego had no doubts and mentioned the 2018 Indian Wells title clash between Juan Martin del Potro and Roger Federer. The Argentine came to Indian Wells in excellent form, winning his first ATP 500 title since 2014 in Acapulco and playing well in the desert to earn a place in the fourth Masters 1000 final, the first since Shanghai 2013!
Between Juan Martin and the title stood world no. 1 and the defending champion Roger Federer. After an incredible battle, del Potro prevailed 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 in two hours and 42 minutes, in one of the best finals at this level in the last ten or 15 years!
Roger suffered his first defeat in 2018 (17-1), and it could have been much different had he converted any of the three match points he had on serve at 5-4 in the deciding set! Del Potro fended them off to prolong the match and grabbed the tie break 7-2 to lift the second biggest title of his career after the US Open 2009 when he also beat Roger in the final.
It was the first Masters 1000 win for Juan Martin over Roger, losing the previous seven encounters and earning it after saving three out of four break points and taking 14 points more than the Swiss. The Argentine tamed his shots nicely, hitting 42 winners and 24 unforced errors, while Roger stood on a 51-45 ratio, making too many mistakes from his forehand wing.
The Argentine forged the victory in the shortest range up to four strokes and tamed his strokes nicely to endure all the obstacles and cross the finish line first. Juan Martin made the best start and claimed the opening set 6-4 with a break at love in game five.
Diego Schwartzman enjoyed the clash between Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro.
Federer saved two break points at the beginning of the second set and served well after that to keep the pressure on the other side of the net.
Del Potro had to work hard to reach the tie break, fending off two set points in game ten and turning this epic final into a roller coaster ride. Roger wasted four set points at 6-3 and 7-6 in the tie break and had to save a match point at 7-8, staying focused to extend the action.
The Swiss earned a crucial mini-break in the 18th point to grab the breaker 10-8 and send the match into a decider with momentum on his side. Juan Martin left that match point behind him and stayed neck and neck with Roger in the decider's first eight games.
Federer grabbed a break at 4-4 and served for the title in the next one. The world's leading player had three match points in that tenth game, but del Potro found a way to repel them and break back, setting up another tie break that was the best way to determine the winner of this epic clash.
The Argentine had the initiative and raced into a 5-0 lead to run away from the Swiss, sealing the deal on his third match point at 6-2 to lift the precious trophy and write his name on the Masters 1000 winners list. "I think the one Masters 1000 match I really remember was when Juan Martin del Potro came back against Roger in the 2018 Indian Wells final.
Delpo saved three match points at the event where Roger was a multiple champion. It was a crazy encounter, and I was watching it on TV. It was Delpo's first Masters 1000 crown, and it came after numerous injuries; that made it special both for him and the Argentine tennis," Diego Schwartzman said.