World No. 1 Roger Federer will face an opponent he holds a 6-0 career edge over in the US Open final after edging Novak Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the rain-delayed Sunday semifinals.
“I thought conditions were tough,” Federer said. “It was sunny in the beginning from the one end. Hopefully the same thing tomorrow, you know, sunny. Then it got really gusty, and I think we both struggled early on with our rhythm. I think towards the end of the sets, you know, I got in some good returns, and that allowed me then to actually go after my shots a bit more.’
Federer in the final will face Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, who overpowered the world No. 3 Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-2, 6-2. The 6-foot-6 del Potro dominated in every aspect of the game.
“Yes, I’m sorry,” laughed the 20-year-old del Potro on denying the New York crowd a Federer-Nadal final. “I am close to doing my dream, to win this tournament. I think this is the best moment of my life.”
Serena Williams says Nadal is one of idols, but Nadal after the match showed just how large a class chasm exists between the American and the Spaniard. In her loss to Kim Clijsters on Saturday night, the younger Williams sister reportedly dropped numerous f-bombs and threatened the life of a linesperson in addition to ‘shoving a tennis ball down her throat.’ Nadal after his loss spoke to ESPN on court, then spent time signing autographs for fans in the stands.
Nadal also lauded del Potro for his effort.
“To compete with this player is very difficult,” Nadal said on-court. “He’s playing unbelievable.”
In his official post-match interview, Nadal refused to lead with his injured abdominal muscle as an excuse.
“I going to repeat: He played much better than me, and for that reason he beat me,” Nadal said. “Later, it sounds like an excuse, no?”
Federer also commented on Serena.
“Sure, she knows herself,” Federer said. “She probably shouldn’t have reacted the way she did, but I don’t think it should take anything away from what Kim has achieved. I think that’s the story here. That just leaves sort of a sour taste for everyone, unfortunately.”
The final will be a mental challenge for the Argentine del Potro, who lost to Federer 6-3, 6-0, 6-0 at the 2009 Australian Open.
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