"But I was able to find my game and get out of that game". I lost my serve a little bit (in the tiebreak) and he was clean. "I was just also just trying to pump myself up more, to get energy for me".
"Really I just woke up", Federer said in an on-court interview.
Federer will be bidding for his third ATP title this year and fourth overall after winning the Hopman Cup, Australian Open and Rotterdam, where his quarter-final win put him back on number one ahead of injured Rafael Nadal.
For all the camaraderie in the locker room, this was pure, intense competition and also a particularly fine tennis match, filled with winners on the run, drop shots and phenomenal fast-twitch defense from Federer as he repeatedly half-volleyed del Potro's huge shots from the baseline or closer to the net.
Each player brought their top game to the last set.
"I lost many finals in Masters 1000s but today was the day for me".
"You just hope to take the right decisions along the way, and then it ends up falling your way". Because that's the part I didn't quite understand, you know. He started in ideal fashion by claiming the first set, but if he hoped taking an early lead would get the crowd on his side, he was wrong.
Federer, contesting his eighth Indian Wells final, faced two break points at the start of the second set but he saved both to hold for 1-0.
An inside-out forehand victor gave Federer a minibreak for 4-3 and he got his hands on three set points moments later. The ball was called out but Coric challenged and after the video review the original call was confirmed.
"It was disappointing", Federer said.
Perhaps more impressive was the way he closed out the set, though. In the end I was lucky to win. "It was a good match".
She was by no means humbled but it's clear that it will take the 23-time major victor some time to regain full fitness and the belief that she can power her way through five, six and, ultimately, seven consecutive matches to enjoy the success she so clearly craves.
It was an emotional match for both players as each took turns questioning the chair umpire.
Del Potro and Osaka each earned $1.3 million.
In the final of what is widely regarded as tennis" "fifth grand slam', Del Potro saved three match points to win a classic and tense encounter 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 7-6 (7-2).
In the 10th game of the third set Federer returned the favour with three match points of his own but Del Potro timed his forehand shots perfectly. "That gave me the control of the match".
Federer drew first blood in the decider, breaking for 5-4 only for Del Potro to immediately break back after saving three match points.
Federer said he is expecting another gruelling war of attrition with the Argentinian.
The men's singles final between Federer and Del Potro will not start before 1pm local time, 1:30am IST (Monday), 8pm GMT.
"He's the favourite to win tomorrow", Del Potro said. I don't know what the stat is ...