Del Potro Topples Federer to Reach U.S. Open Semifinals

by John on September 7, 2017

Juan Martin del Potro broke the hearts of FedFans last night with a convincing 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4 quarterfinal win over five-time U.S. Open champion Roger Federer at Flushing Meadows. The big Argentine’s victory also prevented, once again, a first-ever Federer-Rafael Nadal meeting in New York at the year-ending Grand Slam tournament. Nadal had defeated Andrey Rublev in his quarterfinal match earlier in the day and now gets del Potro instead of the Swiss Maestro in the semis on Friday. The long-awaited matchup with Federer apparently just isn’t meant to be. Del Potro beat Federer in the 2009 U.S. Open final for his lone Grand Slam title. The loss last night additionally ended Federer’s hopes for a third major title in 2017. He won the Australian Open in January and Wimbledon in July. The two players battled tooth and nail in the opening set until del Potro broke Federer in the 11th game after a nervous Federer double fault at 30-30 followed by a blistering Delpo forehand winner. Del Potro closed it out with a service winner on his first set point. Federer took the second set with a break in the fourth game to level the match at a set all. Del Potro rebounded and raced to a 4-1 lead in the third set, courtesy of a break in the second game, but Federer answered with a break of his own in the seventh. Both held the rest of the set to force a tiebreaker, which produced high drama and ultimately swung the outcome. Del Potro saved four set points, including one on a thundering forehand winner that clipped the baseline with Federer serving at 6-4. The Swiss missed a backhand sitter at 7-6 while charging the net, wasting another golden opportunity. Del Potro finally sealed it, 10-8, with a backhand return that Federer pushed long. The Argentine played error-free tennis in the final set and served huge, winning 20 of 23 service points. Federer saved two break points in the fifth game, but succumbed on the third for the only break of the set. Del Potro punctuated the win with a massive forehand down the line on the first match point. “I played my best match of the tournament,” del Potro said afterward. “I served well and hit my forehand as hard as I can. We played a great match and I think I deserved to win in the end.” Del Potro served 12 aces to 17 for Federer, and won 81 percent of his first service points to 73 percent for Federer. The Swiss hit 60 winners compared to 48 for del Potro, but committed nine more unforced errors, 41 to 32. Del Potro saved one of three break points, Federer three of six. “You know, he came up with the goods when he needed to and I helped him a little bit sometimes too maybe,” Federer said. “But he was better today, especially on the big points.”

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