Juan Martin Del Potro just won the 2009 US Open: 3-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2. It was his first ever Major final and his first win over the five-time defending champion, Roger Federer. Before today he had a 4-4 record in five set matches and hadn’t even won a Masters-level event.
What a time to add one to the win column.
Looking back, it’s been a steady progression for Del Potro this season- he started the year being routed by Federer in the Australian Open quarters, was up two sets to one before going down to him in the French and now, sweet victory is finally his. He showed remarkable poise and resilience in today’s match, fighting off over 20 break points on his serve and keeping his nerves in control at the end.
Lovely quote from Del Potro after the match:
“I have two dreams with this sport. One is the US Open. The other one is to be like Roger Federer. One is done, but I have to improve a lot to be like (him.)”
As a Fed fan, I think this win is a fair trade for Paris.
For Roger, it’s the end to a sweet streak of five US Open titles. He hadn’t lost a match at the US Open in 2,200 days. His last defeat in NYC came at the racquet of another Argentine, David Nalbandian, in 2003.
Speaking of Argentines, Juan Martin is only the second South American to win the US Championships since his countryman Guillermo Villas did it in 1977 – back when it was played on clay. Del Potro also adds his name to another exclusive list. Since 2004, only four men other than Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have won a Major championship: Gaston Gaudio, Marat Safin, Novak Djokovic and now Del Potro. That’s just four times out of 24 Majors, folks.
So Del Potro’s got his first. Do you think there are more Major titles to come for this talented 20 year-old?
It was truly a remarkable accomplishment. Congrats to the new champ, Juan Martin del Potro.