Juan Martin del Potro is on top of the Tennis world. He defeated one of his oldest rivals to get there.

The Masters final at Indian Wells brought Del Potro face to face with Roger Federer once more. The latter entered the contest as the hottest tennis player on the planet; he had yet to lose a match since the calendar turned to 2018. Meanwhile, no Argentinian had ever won this particular tournament in its 42-year history. None of that ultimately made a difference in one of the best matches of the year so far.

Del Potro pulls it off

Expectations were high heading into the match.

The two competitors didn't disappoint. Del Potro's serve was looking dominant in the first set, as he lost just six points on it en route to a 6-4 advantage. The second set was much more competitive, though. It went to a tiebreaker, where the Argentinian built towards a match point at 8-7. Federer took the next three points, however, forcing a decisive final set.

Each player brought their top game to the last set. Federer reached match point not once, not twice, but three times. Once again, they competed all the way to a tiebreaker. Del Potro took six of the first seven points in the tiebreaker, virtually ensuring victory. Federer made an attempt to battle back, but it was far too little, too late.

The underdog finished it off 7-2 to win the Masters title, the first of his illustrious career. It only took him 51 tries to capture one, but it was well worth it.

Federer and DelPo

It's been thought for some time that these two could have a storied rivalry in tennis.

Then, Del Potro was forced to endure wrist surgeries that nearly ended his career before it could hit a true prime. He's been building back towards moments like this, though, one of the greatest comeback stories in the sport's history. Since his return to major tennis in February 2016, he's captured four titles, including two in the last two weeks.

Nevertheless, Federer and the Argentinian do have a head-to-head history. Their most significant duel came in 2009 when Del Potro won his only Grand Slam title at the US Open in a five-set thriller. Federer still holds a sizable advantage in the win/loss column, taking home 18 of their 25 contests. But Del Potro is 1-0 in 2018 when it counts. Next, he'll look to steal the No. 1 overall ranking from the Swiss legend.

For now, if he wants it, Juan Martin del Potro has earned a week off. Then, he has to get right back to reaching for the title.