Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro has told CNN that beating world number one Roger Federer to win the men’s U.S. Open title at Flushing Meadows was a “dream come true.”
The 20-year-old upset the odds to clinch a 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 win in New York, a victory that brought an end to his Swiss opponent’s five-year stranglehold on the event. Del Potro came from a set down on two occasions to seal his first grand slam win and to prevent Federer, 28, claiming a record-equaling sixth title at the Arthur Ashe stadium. “It is difficult to explain at the moment but it was a dream come true really, I’m so excited and happy and just want to win more grand slams now,” Del Potro told CNN after the match. Watch CNN’s interview with Del Potro. It was the Argentine’s first appearance in a major final, but the world number five settled well to continue the blistering form that had seen Spain’s Rafael Nadal brushed aside in a 6-2 6-2 6-2 defeat in the semifinals.
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Explaining his performance under pressure Del Potro said: “I just focused on every point, and tried to ensure the win. “The crowd helped me with every point, they were so respectful to both players so that helped me enjoy the moment.” Del Potro became the first of his countrymen to win the U.S. title since Guillermo Vila beat Jimmy Connors in 1977, though he was made to work for his victory. Not since Andre Agassi triumphed over Todd Martin in 1999 had a final at the Arthur Ashes stadium been taken to a deciding set. Federer heaped praise on his opponent after the match, telling reporters at a press conference: “I thought Juan Martin played great – he hung in there and at the end of it he was the better man. “It’s good to see him be so happy and emotional about it, he should enjoy it as he deserves and it was a great match for him,” Federer told reporters.
Del Potro, who admits he is quiet in nature off the court, said his ambition will remain the same despite the win. “When I go on the court I want to beat every player and after that I’m a normal person – very quiet but very friendly.”