Federer's classy tribute to del Potro after loss


World number one Roger Federer made his best start to a season and reached the BNP Paribas Open final with a hard-fought win over Croatia's Borna Coric.

The big Argentine, Juan Martin Del Potro, dispatched a struggling Milos Raonic in straight sets 6-2, 6-3.

"I'm still shaking", Del Potro said.

"The people are screaming when I miss a first serve!" a filthy Del Potro yelled at Murphy in the second set as he demanded the official keep the crowd quiet.

"I can not believe I won this tournament, beating Roger in a great final and this level of tennis".

"I love to play against him", Del Potro said, on his finals match up against the Swiss great.

Osaka needed just 70 minutes to dispatch Kasatkina, who had an equally impressive showing in the desert.

"At the end you saw we are appreciative of the finals that we played against each other, which I think is really important for both of us".

Murphy asked the crowd to respect Del Potro but the interference continued and even though there was a pro-Federer sentiment in the air, the Swiss maestro was not impressed. "And when you're thinking you can play offense all the time and then [Coric] catches you off-guard and you have to go back into defense, I felt like maybe in the beginning it wasn't happening naturally. It had no effect on the outcome".

The 2009 US Open victor, however, faces a daunting task against defending champion and world number one Federer, who improved to 17-0 for the year after rallying past Borna Coric.

"I had a great week, on and off the court".

Roger Federer after his semi-final win at Indian Wells in California on SaturdayWhat's the story?

"And I got a bit lucky too of course". Like I said, I'm happy for Juan Martin. "It's like a dream", Del Potro said.

There were five breaks in the third.

"At some point you are happy with very little", Federer said. "The question is how long?"

"It was a great match, definitely", he said.

"You move on. There's no time to dwell over it. I'm surprising myself every day, and I want to keep surprising the tennis tour".

Down a set and trailing 4-2 in the second, Federer had to claw his way back from the brink of defeat. It went to a tiebreaker, where the Argentinian built towards a match point at 8-7.

The tall Argentine with a rocket of a forehand has endured years of injury-induced heartbreak but on Sunday was back at the very top of the game, beating no less than Roger Federer in an enthralling Indian Wells final.

Del Potro's serve was looking dominant in the first set, as he lost just six points on it en route to a 6-4 advantage. Del Potro saved the first two, on his own serve.

Federer, the oldest world number one in ATP history at 36, entered the final having dropped just one set, that in a hard semi-final test from Croatia's Borna Coric.

Federer and del Potro met in the final Sunday at Indian Wells.