Federer might not be the best example

Roger Federer’s loss to Juan Martin del Potro in the final of the BNP Paribas Open last Sunday, in which he squandered three match points, was a reminder that, appearances to the contrary, the world No.

But even though the match ended with a rare loss for Federer (his first of the year) the two-week tournament in Indian Wells, California, mainly served to underscore a key point about the biology defying renaissance that the 36-year-old is enjoying: When it comes to durability, it turns out he is pretty much unique.

While Federer was making a second consecutive run to the Indian Wells final, Novak Djokovic lasted just one round in the California desert, losing his opener to qualifier Taro Daniel 7-6 (7), 4-6, 6-1.

If Federer’s loss to del Potro was heartbreaking, Djokovic’s loss to Daniel was just ugly and baffling.

Juan Martin del Potro rallied from three match points down in the third set and beat top-ranked Roger Federer 6-4, 6-7 (8), 7-6 (2) to win the BNP Paribas Open, handing the Swiss superstar his first loss of the year.

Juan Martin del Potro showed he might be the heavyweight champ of the tennis universe with a smash-mouth win against Roger Federer in the final of Indian Wells.

Confirmation of this seemed to come when Federer, after winning the Australian, swept Indian Wells and Miami and then divvied up the year’s remaining majors with Nadal, the Spaniard claiming a record 10th French Open and his third US Open.

Roger Federer has played arguably the best tennis of his career since coming back from a knee injury last January.

Despite Djokovic’s baffling performance in Indian Wells, Federer believes he will eventually be back atop the sport.

1 ranking, he has not redefined what’s possible for tennis players; he has only demonstrated what’s possible for Roger Federer, which — as with almost all things Federer — is on a different plane from everyone else.