Federer to face Del Potro in quarter-finals

Roger Federer came from two sets down to beat Czech 20th-seed Tomas Berdych for a place in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. He will meet Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro, who won a hard-fought match against Marin Cilic.


AFP - Three-time champion Roger Federer produced one of his greatest comebacks and Andy Roddick destroyed Tommy Robredo as the Australian Open roared into life on Sunday.

Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro edged fellow rising star Marin Cilic with defending champion Novak Djokovic due on court later against crowd favourite Marcos Baghdatis, the 2006 runner-up.

Federer looked out of it at two sets down before Czech 20th seed Tomas Berdych froze in the third, allowing the Swiss to come back 4-6, 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 and stay on course for a record-equalling 14th Grand Slam title.

Federer has not recovered from that position since 2005, when he fought past Rafael Nadal in the Miami Masters final, and has not failed to reach a Grand Slam quarter-finals since the 2004 French Open.

He also battled through a five-set tussle with Igor Andreev in the fourth round of last year's US Open before recovering to win the title.

"I enjoy those kind of fights because it doesn't happen very often, I've had maybe five or six in my life," Federer said.

"It's always special to come back from 2-0. It's nice for me and I hope it's a good omen."

Federer came into the match on the back of a sweeping victory over old adversary Marat Safin and one-sided wins over Andreas Seppi and Evgeny Korolev.

But despite winning his last seven matches with Berdych he immediately looked out of sorts against the Czech, plodding around the court and making errors of every description.

Berdych was set for an almighty upset but he suddenly collapsed at 3-3 in the third, missing three easy volleys to hand Federer the break, the set and the momentum.

"To get the break then was crucial, no doubt," Federer said. "I came back and it really gave me momentum."

Federer will play del Potro in Tuesday's quarter-finals after the young Argentine also came from behind for a hard-fought win over Cilic.

In fierce sunlight Del Potro, 20, took it 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in just over three hours, becoming the youngest quarter-finalist since Richard Krajicek in 1992.

"Of course, I'm happy. It's my first time in the quarter-finals here in Australia, and I want to be in the semi-finals," del Potro said.

"I know I will play against Federer. It will be tough for me, but I can try to beat him."

Meanwhile, seventh-seeded Roddick was in ominous form as he steamrollered Spain's Tommy Robredo 7-5, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the last eight for the loss of only one set.

Roddick will play either Djokovic or Baghdatis in the quarter-finals as he seeks to add to his sole Grand Slam win, the 2003 US Open.

"I like the dynamic of me sitting in my room after dinner watching them as opposed to having to work tonight. I'll watch it," said the American.

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