Federer: I don’t know what the hell happened

Roger Federer admits he has no idea how Sunday’s final at the Indian Wells Masters got away from him.

The Swiss ace saw his 17-match winning streak brought to an end by a victorious Juan Martin del Potro in a pulsating three-set clash in California.

Federer had several match points at 5-4 in the decider, only for Delpo to save them all, break and claim the ensuing tie-break for the big win.

Surprisingly, the Argentine totally dominated the final tie-break, and afterwards a frustrated Federer admitted he had no idea what went wrong.

“I lost my serve a little bit, and then he was clean and I wasn’t,” Federer said. “And then it goes very quickly in the breaker.

“As close as it can be sometimes when you’re not feeling it or momentum has shifted, it’s just crazy how it can go the other way.

“But I had already missed my opportunities then, but I still, standing at the trophy ceremony, I think I would like to play that tie-break again, because I don’t know what the hell happened.

“But it’s OK. It happens sometimes.”

Federer will remain world No. 1 in the rankings but because he failed to defend his title he will lose 400 points.

As for Del Potro, the win is a massive one for him and confirms his recent resurgence is the real deal.

“It’s so big,” Del Potro said after the final. “I cannot believe I won this tournament, beating Roger in a great final and level of tennis. We played great tennis today. I’m No. 6 in the world, I think? Which is so good to me. And I’m excited to keep working…I just want to keep winning titles like this if I can.

“It was an unbelievable match in all the ways. I mean, we played a great level of tennis. The people were excited on every single point. Roger and me were nervous during the whole match, and we felt that on court…Unfortunately I couldn’t stay calm in the tie-break of the second set, but then the calms come again in the end of the match and I played good in the tie-break [in the third set],” he said.

“It [missing match point in the second set] was horrible moment for me. I was still thinking about my forehand miss and my forehand error, mistake in the match point. And, I mean, it’s my shot, you know, my forehand from that side of the court. I never miss that forehand.”