Sunday, March 17, 2013

INDIAN WELLS 2013: Djokovic Winning Streak Ends

Novak Djokovic lost his first match of 2013 at the BNP Paribas Open to Juan Martin del Potro, ending a 22-match winning streak dating back to late 2012. The World #1 had won 17 matches and 2 titles this year (in Melbourne and Dubai) before losing a classic showdown 4-6 6-4 6-4 to the tall, hard-hitting Argentine, who appears to be returning to his grand slam-winning form.

Del Potro became only the second Argentine to reach the final of the 1st ATP Masters tournament of the year, despite falling behind 0-3 in the third set. He was able to hold serve twice and then break Djokovic's serve to even the match and went up 0-40 on Djokovic's serve in the 7th game. It looked like he would break Djokovic again but somehow the World #1 was able to save 4 break points in that game and hold serve. However, it was the last game Djokovic was able to win, as Del Potro's confidence soared and his groundstrokes became even more powerful, while Djokovic became more reliant on his excellent defense, but in the end it was not enough. Del Potro ended the match after 2 hours, 50 minutes with a 120 mph ace out wide.

Del Potro's win was only his 3rd victory over Djokovic in 11 matches played, with his previous win at the Bronze medal match of the 2012 London Olympics on grass. He will play his first ATP Masters final against Rafael Nadal, who extended his winning streak over Tomas Berdych to 12 consecutive matches with a 6-4 7-5 win.

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