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US Open: Del Potro Stuns Federer to Set Up Nadal Showdown

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Roger Federer’s hopes of claiming a jaw-dropping 20th grand slam title were shattered on Wednesday after he was beaten 7-5 3-6 7-6(8) 6-4 by Juan Martin del Potro in a rip-roaring US Open quarterfinal.

Federer had looked to avenge his 2009 final defeat to then unheralded Del Potro, but was swept aside by the giant Argentine who now faces world No 1 Rafael Nadal for a place in Sunday’s final.

Del Potro’s victory means tennis fans the world over are once again denied a first ever meeting between the Swiss maestro and his old Spanish foe in New York.

“I think I played my best match of the tournament, I did everything well,” said the 24th seeded Argentine.

“I served so good, I hit my forehand as hard as I could and I think we played a great match and I think I deserved to win.”

Federer

No 20th slam for Fed. Image: BBC

Federer, who began the tournament slowly by edging out five-setters, had predicted that he would need to overcome Del Potro’s serve, forehand and fighting spirit to advance to the semifinals, and he was dead right.

With his booming serves and bullet-like forehand winners, Del Potro wasted no time punishing a Federer double fault at 5-5 to claim the first set.

The Swiss maestro bounced back in the second and raced to a 3-1 lead before effortlessly claiming the set as his opponent struggled with his first serve.

Del Potro saved two set points in the third set tiebreak before claiming the set with a sensational crosscourt backhand winner.

It seemed to be all over in the third set when he broke Federer to go 3-2 up, and with the momentum and a sold-out Arthur Ashe crowd in his corner, he sealed the deal with another forehand winner.

Emmanuel Offor

An avid sports fan who is also hooked on movies, music and books. Basically, I PLAYpen & PUNCHlines

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