For the second straight summer Juan Martin Del Potro suffered a gut-wrenching loss on Centre Court Wimbledon. Last year it was a 19-17 defeat to Roger Federer in the Olympic semifinals. Today is was an 4 hour, 43 minute 75, 46, 76, 67, 63 loss to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon semifinals.
The 24-year-old Del Potro never led in the match but had two break oppurtunities in the fifth after fighting off multiple match points in the fourth set tiebreaker.
“I was so close to be at the finals here in Wimbledon,” Del Potro said. “I think I play really good tennis during four hours and a half, and he plays better because he won the match. But was a really high level match during four hours. He hit so hard the ball. I think was unbelievable to watch, but, of course, I’m sad because I lost and I was close to beat him.”
Del Potro was playing in his first Wimbledon semifinal, and like Djokovic he hadn’t lost a set en route to the semifinal round. The Argentine was also battling a left knee he injured two times in his last three matches. But Del Potro gave it his all in a rousing display of tennis enjoyed by all.
“I really enjoy the match, by the way, even if I win or if I lose,” Del Potro said. “Was like a dramatic match, you know, many things during four hours. I play an unbelievable points. He play really well also. I think the crowd enjoying a lot the match.
“For me was fantastic, because losing two set by one against the No. 1 in the world, if the crowd doesn’t cheering for me, it’s tough to come back. They help me a lot for fight, to keep trying, keep going. Of course I’m sad now, but in couple of day I will see how big was the match.”
What was refreshing to see during the match how well the two competitors enjoyed one another. Afterward, Del Potro agreed it was nice to play a good friend.
“He’s a good guy, a good friend of mine,” Del Potro said. “He’s very strong.”
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