Roger Federer is one match away from a record breaking sixth title at Indian Wells. The World No.1 can jump ahead of Novak Djokovic with victory over Juan Martin Del Potro when they meet for the 25th time on Sunday. The Argentinian is looking for a first Masters 1000 title, having thrice lost in a final. After a few stressful three setters, he eased into the final with a comfortable win over Milos Raonic 6-3 6-2. The Canadian often proves hard to break but that was not the case here, with four breaks of serve altogether.
Check out the Federer vs Del Potro Head to Head
Federer looked vulnerable in the semi finals, a side he has rarely shown during his 17-0 streak to begin the year. Borna Coric was just the third player to win a set off Federer this year (Haase, Cilic) and will be ruing his inability to close out the match. Federer has to come from a set and break down to win while also twice being a break down in the decider. “I enjoy these fighting matches, because very often I can’t talk enough about my quality of my grit and my fighting spirit,” said Federer. “But when it happens, I actually enjoy the battle, because it’s what it’s supposed to be, to be quite honest.
While Federer does have a sizable 18-6 lead in the head to head, Del Potro has shown that his top tennis can beat Federer with his 3-2 record over the No.1 in finals showing that. After not playing since 2013, they met four times last year. Federer won three with the sole win for Del Potro coming at the US Open in four sets. “We play great matches together. I love to play against him,” said Del Potro. “He’s the favourite to win tomorrow, but I will try to do my best tennis. I beat him in the past, and I know [what] I can do to repeat that, but is not easy. It will be a good challenge to see how my level is against him.”
“I think we have an interesting matchup,” Federer said. “We both know what the other is trying to do, and we try to stop the other person from doing it. But it’s hard when [one of us] is in full flight. It’s basically an arm wrestle the whole time, and I think we enjoy that.”
Prediction – Juan Martin Del Potro in three sets