Federer in semis after five-set Del Potro thriller

Roger Federer reached a record-equalling 31st Grand Slam semi-final Tuesday, surviving a brutal French Open barrage from frail Argentine Juan Martin del Potro before clinching a 3-6, 6-7 (4/7), 6-2, 6-0, 6-3 triumph.

Third seed Federer, the 16-time Grand Slam title winner and 2009 champion in Paris, came back from two sets to love down for the seventh time and will take on either top seed Novak Djokovic or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for a place in Sunday's final.

It was cruel luck on the 1.98m Del Potro who had looked on course for a straight sets win after unleashing a brutal wave of power-hitting off both wings which left Federer floundering in the first two sets.

However, his hopes were finally sabotaged by a recurrence of the knee injury which has plagued him in Paris and which left him struggling to move by the end of Tuesday's match.

"I knew Juan Martin's knee was bothering him and was trying to finish the rallies quickly," said Federer. "I knew it would be a big fight today."

Federer, playing in his 50th straight Grand Slam tournament and 32nd consecutive quarter-final at the majors, took an 11-2 career advantage over the towering Argentine into Tuesday's clash.

One of those wins came in a gripping Roland Garros semi-final in 2009 when he twice fought back from a set deficit to win in five before Del Potro gained revenge three months later with a first Grand Slam title triumph at the US Open.

The 23-year-old Argentine had lost all five meetings with the Swiss since returning after almost a year out from wrist surgery in 2011.

But despite coming onto Suzanne Lenglen court with his left knee heavily strapped, he broke Federer three times in the opening set to take the early advantage.

Federer had been struggling on first serve and on his backhand, but he managed the first break to lead 3-2 in the second set, coming out on top after a gruelling, brutal rally.

Back came Del Potro to level at 3-3 and he romped through the tiebreak when Federer struggled to get any meaningful touch off another sizzling Del Potro forehand which landed at his toes.

However, Del Potro, who had spent three hours more than Federer on court getting to this stage, suddenly wilted in the third set as his often frail physical condition threatened to shatter his hopes.

He slipped 2-0 down on a double fault and at 3-1 down needed the doctor on court, a common sight throughout his Roland Garros campaign.

Four games later, Federer broke again to take the third set.

It was a similar tale in the fourth as the Swiss star romped to 6-0 with Del Potro, now struggling to move, winning just eight points.

Ninth seed Del Potro needed his knee bandaged before the decider got underway, but Federer was easily on top and took victory when a forehand return from the Argentine clipped the net and sailed out.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea
    US ambassador recovers from knife attack praised by N. Korea

    The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was recovering from surgery Thursday after having his face and arm slashed by a knife-wielding activist in an attack applauded by North Korean state media. The United States condemned the "act of violence" which saw the ambassador rushed to hospital where his condition was described as stable after two-and-a-half hours of surgery that included 80 stitches to a deep gash on his right cheek. During the assault, Kim screamed a slogan in favour of …

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • New Moro rebel group emerges
    New Moro rebel group emerges

    A radical Muslim cleric trained in the Middle East and considered one of the leaders of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) has broken away from the terror group to form his own band of jihadists who are now reportedly providing sanctuary to bomb expert Basit Usman and at least five foreign militants, the military said yesterday. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla, citing reports from the field, said the Justice for Islamic Movement (JIM) was …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl
    Billionaire finds wreck of WWII ship in Phl

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen says he has found the Japanese Navy’s biggest warship at the bottom of the sea in the Philippines, 70 years after US forces sank it. Allen posted a photo on Twitter on Tuesday of the World War II battleship Musashi’s rusty bow, which bore the Japanese empire’s Chrysanthemum seal. The American billionaire, who has also pursued space exploration, said his luxury yacht and exploration ship, the M/Y Octopus, found the Musashi one kilometer (1.6 miles) deep on the …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • Ohio mom, boyfriend guilty; child emailed teacher for help

    PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (AP) — A woman and her boyfriend pleaded guilty to raping her young children and were sentenced to prison on Wednesday, a year after one of her daughters emailed a teacher for help and said she and her siblings were being chained to their beds, deprived of food and sexually assaulted. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options