Even early in the second set I think he had break point chances. "He should have maybe closed it first in the second set I believe".
"It was a great match, honestly", Federer said.
"I mean, everybody knows I was really close to quitting tennis before my third surgery on my left wrist", said Del Potro after upsetting world No. 1 Roger Federer 6-4, 6-7 (8/10), 7-6 (7/2) in Sunday's championship match.
In typically classy fashion, Federer also praised del Potro for his performance.
"I don't remember half of it", said Federer.
"So it should sting, like you said, for a bit".
Trailing a set and 0-2 in the second, the crowd, including Rod Laver and Pete Sampras, seemingly tried to will better shots out of Federer with loud applause and shouts of encouragement. But he also was resolute when he had to be.
Raonic got off to a awful start in his quarterfinal win over Sam Querrey but looked to send a different message in the semifinals when he opened the match with an ace. He pushed Federer to the limit. It's just different, and different is good sometimes.
"I had to move on with it and say that I was just happy to stay in the game". "And I have been there so many times".
Though Federer is seven years older than del Potro, they have a warm relationship off court and got to know each other better when Federer played del Potro in Argentina as part of a South American exhibition tour in 2012.
GETTYPete Sampras takes in Roger Federer's win over Hyeon Chung at Indian Wells
Roger Federer seethed under the California sun in the Indian Wells Masters final.
To compete for his sixth title here, Federer had to be fiery and combative Saturday.
Fans will however be hoping to get a repeat of Sunday's Indian Wells finals which saw Del Potro end Federer's 17-match winning streak to lift the Masters 1000 event and winning the Indian Wells trophy instead of Federer.
"To be winning the matches through fight and grit is a great feeling". "But when it happens I actually enjoy the battle, because it's what it's supposed to be, to be quite honest". But del Potro staved both off to force deuce. "I want to congratulate Roger, for a great week, for great success in this historical year".
Juan Martin del Potro delivers Roger Federer his first loss on the 2018 ATP World Tour.
The thrilling victory - lasting nearly three hours - secured a maiden Masters 1000 title for world number eight Del Potro and just his seventh win in 25 attempts against Federer. He got his wish, for better or for worse.
"It's so big", Del Potro said.
He reclaimed his world number one spot last month too from Rafael Nadal, becoming the oldest player in tennis history to do so, and the last 14 months or so have been remarkable for a man written off because of his age. I'm not expecting - I not expect to go up in the ranking.
It never is easy to beat Federer, no matter how dire Federer's predicament seems.