Del Potro vs Federer: An Atypical Rivalry

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– After their epic match at Olympic SF this week ( 19:17 for Roger in the 3rd after more than 4 hours), we can say that the rivalry between the pair is, at least interesting. Even though Federer leads easily the head to head by 13-2 the Tandil native usually makes Roger work hard. The Swiss has been preventing Juan Martin from getting better this year, as he has won 6 times vs him, all the clashes coming on the latest stages of the bigger tournaments ( Australia, Rotterdam, Dubai, Indian Wells, Roland Garros and now the Olympics).

Of the 14 matches they have played, the first 5 were very easy for Federer, who didn’t lost a set and provided Del Potro some big humiliations ( 6:3 6:0 6:0 at AO QF in 2009, when Del Potro was already a Top-10 player). But since French Open SF in 2009 where Roger had to fight very hard ( 3:6 7:6 2:6 6:1 6:4 in 3h 29′) the rivalry turned and Del Potro won the next two meeting in big stages, defeating Roger unexpectedly at the USO final in 5 sets and then repeating the feat at World Tour Finals round robin by 6:2 6:7 6:3. Then Delpo had a severe wrist injury ( absent from AO 2010 to Bangkok 2010), and they didn’t played until Cincinatti R2 in 2011, where Federer won in straights. In 2012 Federer looked comfortable in his four early meetings vs Delpo ( didn’t lost a set, only pushed in Dubai SF by winning 7/6 7/6). But he was in the verge of defeat in the French Open QF being led by two sets to love, but he ended up winning by 3:6 6:7 6:2 6:0 6:3. And then, their last meeting, this week, at London Olympics was a cracker, with Delpo giving it all, playing his best ever match on grass, and pushing Roger to the edge. So we can conclude that the matches between them can be or an easy win for Roger or a very interesting match which goes to the decisive set.

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