World No. 8 Juan Martin del Potro, having been beaten six times in 2012 by Roger Federer, was not going to let that bother him in the Basel final.
He came out charged up and ready to make life hard for the World No. 1.
In the first set, Del Potro used his flat forehand to force Federer into errors, including one that earned him two break points in the fifth game of the first set.
Del Potro took the first set on an impatient, wide Federer backhand down-the-line.
Under pressure from del Potro in the second set, Federer pulled from his arsenal of serves, drilling a beautiful ace down the T at deuce that the Argentinian could only watch fly by.
But del Potro showcased his outstanding court movement and skills at the net to put pressure on the Swiss’s serve.
Federer would show off his own powerful forehand, setting up an easy put-away volley as del Potro fought for a break of serve.
Federer would bend, but not break, drawing frustration from del Potro.
Del Potro hit a highlight-reel forehand down-the-line that just clipped the line.
And he challenged a Federer shot called in that didn’t clip the line at all:
Though unable to convert on numerous chances early in the set, del Potro kept the pressure on as Federer served at 5-all.
Federer saved a break point with an outrageously angled inside-out forehand, unleashing the fist pump.
At deuce, del Potro sliced a volley meekly into the net on a point he should’ve won. And with that, his chance to break was gone.
Federer took the second set on a del Potro backhand sent wide in the tiebreak. The Swiss fans were pleased.
Early in the third set, del Potro sent a body serve into Federer, causing some obvious discomfort.
Both men held their nerve for six service holds, and in the third set tiebreak, Federer made a costly error on a routine forehand.
Serving on del Potro’s match point, Federer’s forehand let him down once more as he hit an inside-out forehand wide.
Del Potro had beaten the World No. 1 for the first time since 2009. He was understandably happy about this.