Back-to-back titles for Del Potro

Last Updated 19 March 2018, 16:54 IST

Juan Martin Del Potro, once one of tennis' hottest young talents before his career was derailed by injuries, won the Indian Wells Masters two years after almost quitting in frustration.

"I couldn't imagine this moment. I mean, everybody knows I was really close to quitting tennis before my third surgery on my left wrist," said Del Potro after upsetting world No. 1 Roger Federer 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (7/2) in Sunday's championship match.

"I made a big effort to come back. I have everything that I want, and I want to keep improving my game to see what can I do.

"I had very bad moments a few years ago and I don't want to think about that anymore. I am just enjoying my life and playing around the world. I am excited to see what is next."

World number eight Del Potro is back in the top ten rankings this season for the first time since 2014. He dropped to No. 1,045 before beginning his comeback from the left wrist surgeries in 2016.

The 29-year-old from Argentina says he is not thinking about his ranking and just wants to keep up the pace as long as he can.

"Well, it's so big. I cannot believe I won this tournament, beating Roger in a great final and level of tennis," he said of his first win in an Indian Wells final and second straight ATP title in a row.

"I don't care about the numbers. I just want to keep winning titles like this if I can.

"But the first thing is to try to be healthy during the whole year and play where I like to play. Now I have to do a smart schedule on clay to feel 100 percent for the rest of the season."

Del Potro will now head to south Florida with the other ATP players to compete in the Miami Masters.

Osaka wins  

Unseeded Naomi Osaka became the first Japanese player to win the Indian Wells final, routing Russian Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday for her first WTA Tour title.

World number 44 Osaka rolled over Kasatkina, breaking her serve four times and winning the battle of the 20-year-old rising stars in just 70 minutes.

"I just knew that she was going to fight for every point, too," said Osaka. "So I couldn't afford to lose points based on nerves, and I had to keep making the right decisions."

Osaka captured the title on her first match point by blasting a backhand into the open side of the court.

The Japanese dynamo improved to 13-4 on the season two days after her biggest previous win, a dominating semifinal triumph over world number one Simona Halep.

She was only the fourth unseeded player to reach the Indian Wells final, with the most recent before her being Kim Clijsters in 2005.

(Published 19 March 2018, 13:38 IST)

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