FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – His size would make you think he’s older than his just 20 years on this Earth. And even at 6’6”, this giant is as gentle as it comes. So much so that Juan Martin Del Potro was almost in tears as he gave his post-championship press conference.
“Well, when I lay down to the floor, many things come to my mind,” Del Porto said. “First my family and my friends and everything. I don’t know how I can explain, because it’s my dream. My dream done. It’s over. I will go home with a trophy, and it’s my best sensation ever in my life.
“It’s too early to explain. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week I will be believing in this. But now, I don’t know. I don’t understand nothing.”
The Argentina native did it the hard way, pretty much giving away the first set to the almost impossible to beat Roger Federer. Yet he was able to compose himself in the second set to win 7-6 in a tie breaker and did the same feat in the fourth.
That forced a decisive fifth set and right before our eyes, this 20 year-old grew into a man making Federer look like the inexperienced player.
“Well, when I won the second set, I think if I continuing playing same way, maybe I have chance to win,” he said. “But after, when I lost the third set, going to break up, I start to think bad things, you know. It was so difficult to keep trying to keep fighting. But one more time the crowd and the fans helped me a lot to fight until last point. I think I have to say thank you to everyone for that.”
Del Potro did it with a tremendous serve, which was at 65% on the first try and a blistering return which was clocked at about 100 m.p.h. at times. Ranked No. 6 in the world, this Argentine moved himself into the upper echelon of players, usually reserved for Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick and of course, Federer.
“Well, I think everything is to learn about this match,” he said. “I have many things to improve to be better. Of course I would like to be in top 4, top 3, or top 1 in the future. But I have to play like today many, many weeks in the year. If I still working and still going in the same way, maybe in the future I can do.”
Of course he can. Today was just the first step, but with his skills and resolve, seeing Del Potro in the finals will be commonplace in the future. And as he proved today, he can play with the best of them.
Of course I will be in the history of this tournament,” Del Potro said. “That’s amazing for me. I have new opportunities in the other Grand Slams to win, because if I did here, if I beat Nadal, Federer and many good players, maybe I can do one more time.
“But of course, will be difficult, because I was so close to losing today.”