ROGER FEDERER was left bruised and beaten by Juan Martin del Potro in the Indian Wells final.
And even though Rafael Nadal is close to Federer in the ATP World Tour rankings, it is not good news for the Spaniard.
Because this was a Del Potro at the peak of his powers. And that is bad news for anybody on the ATP Tour, the elite included.
The Argentine’s career is one massive case of what might have been. The talent has always been there but injuries have always niggled away and stopped him from becoming the player that many expected.
His US Open win in 2009 was meant to be the turning point. Federer was up against him on that occasion and had not lost at Flushing Meadows for nearly six years.
And then up stepped a scrawny 20-year-old to take the title and spring one huge upset.
Del Potro, though, has spent the last few years in the wilderness.
Nadal is still in with a shot at catching Federer’s record. At the time of writing, he is six away.
But the emergence of Del Potro could be a hammer blow.
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray’s fitness issues have seen them written off for the majority of this year’s tournament.
Yet the same cannot be said for a Del Potro who looked so formidable at Indian Wells this evening.
After the final, Federer congrtulated his opponent and said: “Juan Martin well played today. It was a tough match, but well done you deserve it.
“There was not much between us, but you deserved it.
“Well done and enjoy the moment.”