It’s 10 past 1 in the morning in Rome, over 3 hours on court and we have our winner!
If you were looking for relentless tennis, you came to the right place.
When Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin Del Potro meet on the tour it is always a tiring but exceptional battle to witness and this didn’t disappoint.
Despite it being Del Potro’s seventh match of the year the level of tennis he has shown in Madrid and in this match against Djokovic to be honest put some to shame.
Both players expressed their unhappiness at points during the match about the courts which have been borderline swimming pools this week and Carlos Bernardes is probably sick of hearing it but it didn’t stop them.
Del Potro hung in to a first set where in the first seven games took 40 minutes to get through as he defended like a warrior with his backhand before getting that break of serve which ended up being decisive in the opener.
Novak Djokovic began to strut his stuff in the second set and found some luck as the Argentine seemed to slow down a bit taking a 5-2 lead and looked like we were heading to the decider.
However, in true Del Potro style the forehand was beginning to fire and wow it was on form as he fought back to 6-6 and then the tie-break.
Del Potro found himself some match points but that relentless defence of Novak Djokovic proved too much and somehow as he does he found himself back in the match and going to a third set and 20 past midnight in Rome!
It was fourth game of the final set where we really began to see the intensity continue to rise as the Argentine orchestrated two more break points but an animated Novak held his nerve and levelled for 2-2.
Wow! You couldn’t make it up!
A big forehand into the net from Del Potro and Novak broke for a 3-2 lead…
Something we haven’t become a-custom to in this one is easy holds of serve to love but Novak consolidated an important break for a 4-2 lead.
Holding serve to love seemed to be a theme for Novak who did it once again to lead 5-3 and just one game from a Rome semi-final.
The question of the Argentine’s serve were answered leaving Novak Djokovic at 5-4 and almost three hours on court to serve it out!
A lovely embrace at the net to finish one of the highlights of the year!