Roger Federer sweeps aside Juan Martin Del Potro to reach Australian Open semi-finals
Tuesday 24 January 2012
Roger Federer moved into his ninth successive Australian Open semi-final today - and a possible meeting with Rafael Nadal - after a straight-set demolition of Juan Martin Del Potro.
The Swiss great, a four-time champion in Melbourne, looked close to his very best as he brushed Del Potro aside 6-4 6-3 6-2 in his 1000th tour-level match
He will meet old foe Nadal next if the Spaniard can overcome Tomas Berdych later today.
Federer's place in the last four was never in doubt after a masterclass which will not have gone unnoticed by his title rivals.
He came out of the blocks quickly, racing into a 3-0 lead and it took a titanic effort from Del Potro to battle back and level it at 4-4.
But serving at 4-5, Del Potro faltered as two wonderful forehand winners from Federer handed him two set points and he clinched it on the first as the Argentinian double-faulted under the pressure.
A crushing backhand gave Federer a 3-1 advantage in the second set although he had to hold off some stiff Del Potro resistance at 5-3 - his 6ft 6in opponent seeing four break points come and go.
It turned out to be the key game in the match as, from two sets down, a Del Potro comeback never looked likely.
The 2009 US Open champion was broken again in the opening game of the third and then again for 5-2 as Federer cruised home.
"I am happy, I thought it was a great match," he said. "It was tough with the sun and the shade creeping across the court but I thought it was a really high quality match.
"Juan Martin is a great player and I knew how hard he could hit the ball so I tried to manoeuvre him round a little bit."
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Best memes and Tweets, including Lukas Podolski selfie with Angela Merkel
Germany 1 Argentina 0 player ratings
Shakira performs at World Cup closing ceremony at the Maracana
World Cup 2014 final: Vladimir Putin takes seat next to Sepp Blatter at the Maracana
World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi suffers humiliation of walking past World Cup trophy TWICE after being crowned player of the tournament with Golden Ball
- 2 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 3 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action