US Open 2017: Juan Martin Del Potro Ousts Roger Federer, Four American Women Reach Semifinals
Juan Martin del Potro ended Roger Federer’s hopes of securing a record-stretching 20th Grand Slam title and a sixth U.S. Open trophy by defeating the third-seeded Swiss 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-4 in a thrilling quarterfinal at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday night, Day 10 of the the tournament.
US Open 2017 Semifinals News
The 24th-seeded Argentine — who will be 29 later this month — beat Federer in the 2009 Final in Flushing Meadows, Queens and will next face World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in Friday’s second semifinal.
Tennis fans had been eagerly hoping for the first-ever US Open matchup between Federer and the top-ranked Spaniard, who advanced by eliminating Russian teenager Andrey Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 on Wednesay, but del Potro dashed those hopes.
The first men’s semifinal on Friday will see 28th-seeded South African Kevin Anderson play 12th-seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreño Busta.
Del Potro hit big serves and huge forehands and remained concentrated when Federer appeared to regain control in the second set. In the first set, the Argentine boasted a 79 first-serve percentage.
“I think I played my best match of the tournament, I did everything well,” said del Potro. “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.”
Del Potro had a chance at 5-5 in the first set when Federer recorded a double fault and then smacked a strong forehand shot, with which he also took the opening set over the Swiss in the following game.
Federer — who had been suffering from back problems — barely sat during the pause between sets, and he broke for 3-1 with a forehand passing shot as del Potro’s serve began to falter, and the Swiss easily won the second set.
After del Potro regained control in the third set tie-breaker — during which Federer double-faulted in the second game — the Swiss saved another break point in the fourth game of that set, setting up one for himself in the seventh. Del Potro lost that seventh game with a double fault.
In the tie-breaker, Federer took a 6-4 lead to earn two set points, although del Potro saved them with an amazing service return on the baseline and a powerful serve.
A Del Potro double fault gave Federer another opportunity, but the Swiss messed up a backhand half-volley and the Argentine took the set with a forehand winner on the fourth set point.
After forcing Federer to hit a volley long in the final set, del Potro broke for 3-2 with an amazing cross-court backhand winner.
The sold-out crowd of 23,771 at Arthur Ashe roared when the Argentine won the match with a powerful forehand winner.
“I think it’s my home court, too, you make me feel happy every time I play here and I love your support guys. I love to see you cheer for me,” del Potro told the crowd. “After all my injuries and surgeries … New York is my favorite tournament, my favorite city to play tennis.”
On the women’s side, all four ladies playing in this year’s semifinals are American. This marks the first time since 1985 that four U.S. women advance to the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament, and the first time four American female players reach the US Open semis since 1981.
Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, Madison Keys and CoCo Vandeweghe have all made it through to the last four. Both women’s semifinals will be held on Thursday night and will air on ESPN.
Williams will face Stephens in the first semifinal at 7 pm EST, after the latter advanced by beating 16th-seeded Latvian Anastasija Sevastova in three sets on Tuesday.
In her last three tournaments — Toronto, Cincinnati and US Open — Stephens reached the semi-finals. Before Toronto, Stephens ranking had dropped to 934 in the world after a year of inaction. By making the last-four at Flushing Meadows, Stephens has assured that she will be back in the top-35.
The 24-year-old Stephens — who is playing in her first US Open — is also seeking her first Grand Slam title after undergoing foot surgery in January and serving as a broadcaster earlier this year as well.
No. 15 seed Keys and No. 20 seed Vandeweghe will face off in the second semi-final at 8:15 pm EST on Thursday. Keys, 22, advanced by defeating Estonian Kaia Kanepi 6-3, 6-3 on Wednesday, while 25-year-old Vandeweghe eliminated top-seeded Czech Karolína Plíšková with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 victory on Wednesday.
Keys underwent her second wrist surgery in 10 months after a devastating three-set loss at the French Open in May. Thursday’s game will be her second Grand Slam semifinal: she previously reached the last four at the Australian Open in 2015. Vandeweghe, meanwhile, has defeated two World No. 1 players thus far in 2017: Pliskova and German star Angelique Kerber, whom she beat in Melbourne in January.
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 06: Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina returns a shot against Roger Federer of Switzerland during their Men’s Singles Quarterfinal match on Day Ten of the 2017 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 6, 2017 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
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