Del Potro digs deep to blow Soderling away
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:51
Juan Martin del Potro fought back from a set down and a break behind in the third to posot a 6-7(1) 6-3 7-6(3) victory over Robin Soderling.
Davydenko had earlier caused the biggest upset of the tournament by dumping out Roger Federer and the winner knew he would have a great chance of picking up the most lucrative prize in tennis.
Soderling, who only qualified for the prestigious end-of-season event because Andy Roddick pulled out injured, had been arguably the most impressive player during the group stages, beating Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in straight sets.
The Swede was up against it from the start, though, slipping to 0-40 in the third game before eventually digging himself out of the hole and then having to save another break point at 2-2.
Del Potro drew a gasp from the arena with one cross-court rasper that left Soderling rooted to the spot.
With the server on top, the set duly progressed to a tie-break, where, having been almost faultless throughout the first 12 games, Del Potro suddenly faltered.
Soderling opened up a 5-0 lead and from there there was no way back for the Argentinian, who had the incentive of knowing he would climb above Andy Murray into fourth place in the rankings were he to win the final.
The Swede began the second set looking the more confident of the pair but Del Potro rediscovered his best form midway through the set, another huge forehand giving him a break point in the sixth game.
Soderling simply came up with three big serves, though, and the chance was gone. But it was a different story two games later.
The US Open champion played the point of the match to get to deuce then finally took a break point when the Swede missed with a forehand.