Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Media blather about Sepp Blatter

Read more

DEBATE

After Blatter: Can FIFA clean up its act? (part 1)

Read more

DEBATE

After Blatter: Can FIFA clean up its act? (part 2)

Read more

FACE-OFF

Sarkozy's 'The Republicans' party: Disunited they stand?

Read more

ENCORE!

Film Show: 'In the Shadow of Women' and 'San Andreas'

Read more

FOCUS

Greenpeace struggles after India freezes bank account

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Shiite militias on the frontline in Iraq

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

FIFA's Blatter steps down amid South Africa 2010 World Cup bribery claims

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

FIFA's sponsors welcome Blatter's resignation

Read more

Federer reaches 22nd Grand Slam semi-final in a row

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-11

Roger Federer marched into his 22nd consecutive Grand Slam semi-final, beating 12th seed Robin Soderling 6-0, 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (8/6). The top seed will play fourth seed Novak Djokovic on Saturday.

AFP - Roger Federer will play Novak Djokovic in the US Open semi-finals on Saturday, their third consecutive clash at Flushing Meadows after the final of 2007 and the semi-finals of last year.
   
Top seed and defending champion Federer reached the last four for a record 22nd time in a Grand Slam tournament despite a stirring late show from Robin Soderling, winning 6-0, 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (8/6).
   
Fourth-seeded Djokovic won a dour, stamina-sapping encounter with Spain's Fernando Verdasco 7-6 (7/2), 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals for the third consecutive year.
   
Federer, who is bidding to win a record-equalling sixth straight US Open title here, looked to be cruising toward a comfortable straight-sets win before Swede Soderling, with nothing to lose, opened his shoulders and blasted away with his huge forehand.
   
He stunned Federer by bouncing back from 0-4 down in the third set tie-break to force a fourth set and in that, in another tie-break, he even had a set-point to take it all the way before Federer won the final three points of the match.
   
"It was so close towards the end and it's a great relief to come through because he played better and better as the game went on," he said.
   
"It was too easy at the start, but he battled his way back into it and showed what a great player he is.
   
"It was cool when it started and being from Switzerland that was OK with me, but then it got cooler and him being from Sweden that was in his favour."
   
Turning to his semi-final against Djokovic, Federer said: "He has done well to come through and put himself in this position.
   
"He played a solid match today and he has done well against me in the past, but I beat him in Cincinnati so I hope to build on that and beat him on Saturday."
   
Soderling, who lost for the 12th consecutive time to Federer, said that he had played so badly in the first two sets that it could only get better.
   
"I think I played the last two sets very well," he said.
   
"I felt like I really had to go for the shots, because the longer the point went on, the better he played.
   
"So a lot of the points I won, I won in three or two, three or four shots."
   
Djokovic looked distinctly out of sorts for most of his match against the 10th-seeded Verdasco, losing seven games in a row from a set and 1-0 up.
   
But he dug deep to counter his big-hitting opponent and after the Serb took a two sets to one lead, the Spaniard started showing signs that he was struggling with a stomach muscle strain.
   
Once Djokovic had broken serve in the fourth set, there was only one winner, with Verdasco struggling to push off on his serve and hit his trademark forehands.
   
"Mentally it was important for me to overcome today's challenge and get into the semi-finals (of a Grand Slam tournament) for the first time in 2009 so I feel a kind of relief," Djokovic said.
   
"I just hope to continue to play well and challenge Roger Federer.
   
"It wasn't a great first set. We both made a lot of unforced errors and I was lucky to get through in the tie-break.
   
"In the second set I wasn't able to find any rhythm and he deserved to win it, but I managed to come back and that's what matters."
   
The two remaining quarter-finals on Thursday will see Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina take on Marin Cilic of Croatia in a battle of giant 20-year-olds and third-seed Rafael Nadal go up against Chile's Fernando Gonzalez.
 

Date created : 2009-09-10

COMMENT(S)