Taking into account, the veil of lunacy and unpredictability that has shrouded the 2009 U.S. Open, one might have believed there was no further room for shock. Yet, today, in the finals, 20 year old Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro pulled off the element of surprise by vanquishing world number one and five time defending champion Roger Federer 3-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in order to seize his first major.
For the sixth year in a row facing a fresh rival at the tournament’s ultimate dance, Federer was regarded as the overwhelming favorite. Subsequent to a love game, on his fifth break point, Federer used a forehand crosscourt winner to jump to a 2-0 lead. Then, Roger consolidated with a comfortable hold. With Del Potro’s newbie status at the final of a major, he had difficulty encountering his footing the opening set. But, Juan Martin finally got on the board with ease for 1-3. While Federer never dealt with a break point, Del Potro’s treacherous adventure on serve continued. Serving at 2-5, Juan Martin’s forehand error gave Roger three set points. However, with his big serve, Del Potro salvaged the game. Nevertheless, Federer went on to close out the set.
Del Potro started the second with four unforced errors, including two double faults, to hand Federer a break. By maintaining his near perfect play at net, Federer connected on a forehand volley for 2-0. After an untroubled hold by his opponent, Federer’s forehand miscues resulted in Del Potro’s initial break opportunities. With Juan Martin unable to capitalize, Roger stretched his lead to 3-1. Consequently, Roger appeared to be securing a choke hold on another title. Yet, despite multiple chances, Federer failed to capture a potential insurance break. After Del Potro kept the set alive with a love hold at 4-5, in front 30-0, Federer made a couple of errors for 30-30. The next point, Del Potro called on the tech review after a forehand up the line was presumed out. By a hair, Juan Martin was found to be correct. Now, an incredulous Federer stared at break point. Immediately, Juan Martin passed Roger at net with a forehand up the line to square the set at 5-5. Roger’s failure at sealing the set preyed on his mind into a tiebreaker. A forehand error was all Del Potro required for a mini-break and to finish off the set.
An abominable first serve percentage, a rival unwilling to capitulate, a perceived flawed challenge system contributed to Federer’s petulant mood the rest of the way. Roger even had an acerbic exchange with the chair umpire in the third set. To the contrary, Del Potro settled into a comfortable service rhythm. At 3 all and 30 all, Federer floated two straight forehands long to give Del Potro his first lead. But, the next game, Federer blotted out his mistake by making it 4 all. After dismissing another break point and holding, Federer ticked off that Del Potro took a little long to dispute a call utilized his displeasure to get to 0-30. As a result of Del Potro double faulting twice, Federer carried the set 6-4.
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