No one said it was going to be easy, but Roger Federer is now just three sets from that elusive French Open title and the career Grand Slam. Just three sets and just Robin Soderling.
But for the Federer, the road has been anything but easy even with his top rivals Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray reduced to bystanders courtesy of upsets.
Today Federer found himself again with his back to the wall this time against the powerful slugger Juan Martin Del Potro, but Federer somehow dug out of a 2-1 set hole, maintained his belief and overcame the Argentine with a 3-6, 7-6(2), 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 thriller in the semifinals.
Del Potro came out slugging right from the start, battering groundstokes and bruising Federer with one of his best serving days of his career. DelPo stormed to a 2-1 set lead before his power game began losing steam in the fourth set as Federer honed his game and really began working, if not overworking, his new drop shot.
Federer seized momentum quickly in the fifth the fifth, but DelPo recovered the deficit to level as the tension mounted. But a critical double fault from DelPo gave Federer the penultimate break for 4-3.
The win vaults Federer into the finals for a fourth straight year where he’ll meet Swede Robin Soderling with history, greatness, etc, on the line. Earlier in the day Soderling ripped the heart of Fernando Gonzalez, 6-3 7-5 5-7, 4-6 ,6-4 in 3-hours, 28-minutes, just one minute shorter the Federer’s epic win.
After climbing back from two sets downs, Gonzo actually led 4-1 in the fifth set before the Chilean lost the plot.
Federer and Soderling have played nine times before and the Swiss has won on each occasion. Their 10th meeting, however, will have just a little more at stake. Andre Agassi is reportedly going to be there, so too will Bjorn Borg and the ever present Guillermo Vilas. But what about Pete Sampras?
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