Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Australian Open: Roger Federer sweeps aside Juan Martin Del Potro to reach semi-finals

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 24: Roger Federer of Switzerland shakes hands with Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina after winning match point and his quarter final match during day nine of the 2012 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 24: Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates winning match point and his quarter final match against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina during day nine of the 2012 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 24, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images)

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."

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