Del Potro Ruins Federer-Nadal SF Party at US Open
by Staff | September 7th, 2017, 12:44 am

Juan Martin del Potro ruined the Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal party on Wednesday at the US Open when the former champion defeated the five-time winning Swiss 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(8) 6-4.

“I played my best match of the tournament,” said Del Potro, who saved four set points in the third-set tiebreak. “I served well and hit my forehand as hard as I can. We played a great match and I think I deserved to win in the end.”

Federer and Nadal now continue the streak of never facing each other in their careers at the US Open, and Nadal will take over the No. 1 ranking come Monday.

“I think it’s my home court,” Del Potro said of the New York Argentine-heavy crowd. “You make me so happy every time I play here. I love to see the crowd chanting for me.”

It’s the sixth time that Federer and Nadal were one match from meeting in New York, and it didn’t happen.

Del Potro’s triumph began with a good start to the match. Federer was also in form until 5-all when the Swiss double faulted handing Delpo a break point, and the Argentine took advantage screaming a winner off a flat Federer volley.

Federer, though, quickly got back on top in the second paced by his serve which surrendered just 8 points in the set and 12/15 at the net.

Entering the third, the crowd and momentum was with the 5-time champion. Except it didn’t last long after giving Delpo a break courtesy of a double fault.

Delpo pounced and looked to be in control until 4-2 when he too double faulted a break!

In the breaker, it was Federer jumping ahead 3-1 and held two set points at 6-4. But del Potro wouldn’t quit. He leveled at 6-6 however threw in a horrible double fault.

Federer would not close it out, right? Wrong! Two more set points were saved until del Potro finally took it when a Federer volley landed long much to the approval of the Argentine crowd.

Federer was faced with having to win a third match in five sets if he were to set-up that Nadal showdown.

Del Potro, though, broke at 2-all, then hung on for the 2-hour, 50-minute win.

“It happens,” Federer said of those missed chances in the fourth. “I don’t know. I mean, it’s hard to explain. Sometimes you do the right things and he does, too. Then it matches up badly your way.

“I didn’t think I played bad. You know, towards the end of the breakers, you know, I can do better maybe, sure, but I think the decisions that we both took, me serving, him returning, or whatever it may have been, you know, it just didn’t go my way.

“But I don’t think those four points make all of the difference. There was more to it that led to me being down two sets to one and being down two sets to one, and the break, I missed too many balls to keep me maybe ahead in the match or didn’t put me into so much trouble where I needed luck or I needed him to take poor decisions.

“You know, he came up with the goods when he needed to and I helped him a little bit sometimes too maybe. But he was better today, especially on the big points.”

Del Potro finished 48 winners to 32 unforced errors and 12 aces. Federer fired 60 winners, to just 41 unforced with 17 aces. But Roger only managed to win 73% of his first serves.

With his back injury, Federer was pleased overall with his tournament.

“In some ways I’m actually happy I made the quarters, so I’m not disappointed, because it’s been a good run this year already,” Federer said. “Unfortunately I ran into a guy who was better than me today.”

Del Potro in the semifinals will face Nadal, who was at his best dismantling Russian rising teen star Andrey Rublev 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.

“Andrey was playing in his first [Grand Slam] quarterfinal and he played with more mistakes than usual,” Nadal said. “It’s an important victory for me, winning past two matches in straight sets is very good news for me. I’m very, very happy to be in the semifinals again in New York. It’s very important to me and I’m very excited to have this opportunity again.”

Rublev will be forced to play the qualifying at his next ATP event in St. Petersburg, Russia.

“It’s a great experience to play quarterfinal against world No. 1 Rafael Nadal,” said Rublev. “I’m really happy. I will try now to practice harder to improve everything for the next time if we play each other to try to compete better.”

Nadal leads Del Potro 8-5 in their career head-to-head, but the Argentine has won their two most recent meetings.

“Juan Martin is a top player,” Nadal said. “Is true that when he’s playing well, it’s difficult to stop him. Probably the forehand is maybe the fastest on the tour. And of course to win tonight, he should be serving well. If he serve well and hit well his forehand, he’s a player that have the chance to win against, of course, everybody.”

“I need to be very focused with my serve and play aggressive, because if you let him play from good positions with his forehand, you are dead, because he plays super-aggressive, hitting so hard. So probably he’s unstoppable from that positions, no? I need to play long, I need to play against his backhand, and then open the court.”

You Might Like:
Novak Djokovic Tours His Childhood Tennis Club During A Facebook Live Session [Video]
Scenes From the Sydney Player Party [Video]
Lung Infection Not Contagious, Federer at Dubai Player Party
Serena Williams: OSCARS 3rd Best Day of My Life
Here’s Novak Djokovic Dancing The Night Away In Dubai [Video]

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

57 Comments for Del Potro Ruins Federer-Nadal SF Party at US Open

Okiegal.... Says:

Great match……..The Gentle Giant wasn’t too gentle with Fed tonight! I really didn’t see that coming, especially since having played the tough 5 setter. I was hoping for Fedal semi like most everyone else was……but not to be. Commies to Fed fans regarding this loss tonite but kudos to Roger on his stellar year…….

Congratulations to the fans of JMD. He was playing awesome tonight! It’s good to see him back in good form.

Ahfi Says:

If I were Federer, I would rest for the remainder of the year, defend AO next year, try to win Wimbledon and then retire at the end of the year next year. That back needs to heal.

My pick for the title – Andersen or Delpo.

FedExpress Says:

I am majorly disappointed. I wont hide it. It sucks. 4 SPs!!! No matter what you have to convert one of them. Too many brainfarts in this match

Congratz Delpo, you deserved. But he will bend over to Nadal. That I am sure. His FH will be brought with interest.

So for Federer:

Nadal will close the GS gab to 3 as it was at the start of the year and say bye bye to no 1 ranking.

Van Persie Says:

Huge congrats, DelPo!

At the beginning of this USO, I was sure, Roger would meet Rafa in the semies.

Thank you for this lovely surprise, DelPO.:)

Watched the last 2 sets, I almost cried , when the Argentinian won…I also love his Argentinian fans from the crowd.

Van Persie Says:

Felt the same joy for DelPO’s win, as I would have felt for “my guy” Djoko :)

Raj Says:

Lucky run is over for fedex

Van Persie Says:

Regarding “Federer-Nadal SF Party”…not exactly my kind of fiesta. ;)
Can now enjoy semifinals, hip hip, hurray!

James Says:

Nadal might end up setting a record – he reached the semi without facing a top 50 player (don’t think that has ever happened in a slam), he might win without ever facing a top 20 player (I am positive that has never happened before, even Sampras 2002 USO was not this weak). Delpo is ranked 28, Anderson 32, Busta 19.

Wow, that’s some luck for Nadal.

I hope Delpo wins it again.

James Says:

YEC is the only tournament where you can’t avoid top 10 players – in fact, every match is against a top 10 player, and you have to win at least 4 to win the tournament. And its played on fast indoor courts. No wonder Nadal has never won it. Guess who has the best record there.

Van Persie Says:

In 2009 JMDP beat Rafa (ranked 3) in semis and Roger (ranked 1) in final. Am curious if DelPo can repeat this performance again (now in quarters and semis).

A part of me wants Rafa to win, this would cement his Nr. 1 ranking for the end of the year, but have to admit, would be more glad for DelPo.

Van Persie Says:

^ difference would be: at USO 2017 Roger was ranked 3 and Rafa ranked 1 and today’s Delpo is not the same player from 2009.

el_matador Says:

what delpo’s done in this tourney is already far,far beyond my expectation..I think he has 20% chance of a win against rafa..rafa will expose his bh better than roger and will try to wear delpo out..and delpo won’t have a great serving day like he did against roger everyday..but I’m sure delpo’ll give his 200% and those argentines will create an electric atmosphere and get behind their man..vamos albecileste!!!

Giles Says:

Delpo is a ball basher. I reckon he’s gonna injure his wrist/s again.

FedExpress Says:

Friends are a blessing. They told some jokes in the office and my mood is way better.

I wish Delpo all the best. He deserved the win. Played the big points better. Hope he wins the tournament. Would be quite a story.

Re: Federer

You did everything what was in your power. You fought. Showed class. Hoping you will a good fall and grab some titles. Should be favourite WTF.
Maybe the race for the YE ranking is still on.

Giles Says:

Aww FedExpress, As long as you’re not crying!
It’s only a game you know!

BBB Says:

That match was kind of strange. The returns of serve were mediocre, but the ground strokes were stunning.

I didn’t have the impression that Federer’s back was a problem as he seemed to move pretty well and had no issues torquing for some tough overheads. But I did wonder early on if he was unsettled by the crowd. I don’t think he’s been in Ashe when the crowd was so vocally supportive of another player.

t4t Says:

Agree with BBB re Fed’s back ( was it ever an issue?) and Fed getting rattled by the extent of crowd support for Delpo.
As the Fed fans would also join the Delpo supporters on Friday, Nadal might feel he is playing in Paris in 2009! Ha ha!

rognadfan Says:

Well, being 5 years younger, Fed had to give Rafa a gift he asked for in the begining of the tournament. That’s what happened. Hopefully Nadal will be able to get hold of that present.

BBB Says:

Aw t4t I won’t go that far :-) I think he does genuinely have back problems from time to time. But I agree with those who suggest he modify his schedule the rest of the year.

tennisfan Says:

Rafa gets slam #16. Cakewalk.
Maybe the #19 target can be achieved. He is still 31 and could play on for 3-4 more years.

GOAT debates will start again very soon, IMO

t4t Says:

We never tire of the GOAT debates! Also the endless parties involving bakery products!

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Great match from Del Potro. Federer played well from the most part, but he gave away too many gifts, especially the constant forehands in the net and the shanked volleys at key points. Didn’t look like the back was a problem, but Fed seemed to get frustrated often and when he was frustrated he wouldn’t chase balls down to the extent he usually does.

Rafa is definitely the favourite for me, but Del Potro has a significant chance. He has been getting better and better, and the more confidence he has, the stronger that 2H backhand becomes. He was hitting it great last night. Additionally, Rafa will give Del Potro more time to line up his shots than Fed did, and while Rafa will undoubtedly target his BH more than Fed, his high bouncing topspin may actually allow JMDP to hit flatter, which would take the pressure off of ‘rolling’ his left wrist.

I have a feeling, if Rafa wins and year end #1 becomes out of reach for Fed, he may shorten his fall schedule.

Daniel Says:

The bad thing for DelPo is that he may beat Nadal, (Fed and Nadal back to back) and even still lose the final. That would be a shame.

If he keeps this level will be a good contest and we have to see how well he’ll return Nadal serve.

I don’t see his FH dropping so Nadal will have trouble with that shot, as anybody on tour has. But if Nadal find his range in returns and can find DelPo’s BH from the get go (what Fed couldn’t do bar a few occasions), he can run away his BH and attack.

I give him a 30-40% chance of beating Nadal. Nadal is also untested this tourney and the matches the players started well he lost sets. DelPo is way better than all of them combined so I would be very surprised if he loses without a fight, think the match will go 4 or even 5 sets. DelPo won last 2 encounters and the other last HC match Nadal won went the third set and the previous 2 matches also went the distance. Their Wimby match in 2011 Nadal won in 4 with 2 tiebreaks.

DelPo will give him trouble and is not a given Nadal will win. He is more rested and playing better each round, but so is DelPo.

Daniel Says:


Regarding #1, Fed already said his goal is to win Shangai. He would be #2 and with the remaining seeds all not trusty, he can get an easy draw there. If Nadal loses early, reaching QF tops and Fed wins, he gains 820 pts on Nadal, which will close the gap.

Nadal winning USO: 9365
Federer after USO: 7505

That is a 1860 pts difference. That with a Shangai victory can be reduce to 100 pts.

Even if Nadal wins USO, #1 is not a lock, because we don’t know if Nadal will win any other tournaments this year. Never won, Shangai, Paris nor WTF.

Fed knows if he wins Shangai (1000 pts) and WTF (1500 if undefeated) he has a chance.

I think he will only maybe skip another tournament (Bsel or Paris) depending on what happens in Shangai.

But if Nadal loses to Delpo, than Nadal would only be 580 pts ahead of Federer after USO. So race is totally on knowing Fed usually wins more points than Nadal indoors.

An USO win can give Nadal a 60-70% chance of finishing #1. But Shangai will be critical, Fed will have to win to stay in the hunt.

BBB Says:

TV I really like your analysis.

Chris Evert has repeatedly said that the problem when you get older is that you simply cannot bring your A game to every match, and that you have very random off days for no discernible reason. Federer looked a bit like that to me. Many of his shots were good, of course, but the returns were half-hearted and he blew some comparatively easy shots at crucial times.

skeezer Says:

Yep I agree, and what do we really expect from this guy? He has won 2 Slams this year, and got to the Qtr Finals of 1, won IW & Miami, etc…. He’s 36. Would like to see any other top player in this era do that!
I would think he will push the pedal to the floor in getting back to #1, since he has a chance. And when is he realistically going to have this chance again? Time is not on his side.

RZ Says:

We’re down to 2 possible winners for the Racquet Bracket. If Nadal reaches the final, regardless of result or opponent, blurop/Ryan wins the Bracket. If DelPo reaches the final, regardless of result or opponent, Margot wins her 2nd Bracket in a row.

May the odds be ever in your favor!

Markus Says:

After Roger won the Australian, I was so happy and regardless of what happens the rest of the year, I would be happy and consider it a good year for Federer. That he added Wimbledon to it was a bonus and the excitement of seeing him play and contend again was very well worth cherishing 2017 as a memorable year for him, for me and for his fans.

Now, I like the rest of the guys left contending for the title. Busta is the darkest horse in the group, so dark I could not see him going beyond the semifinals. Anderson can surprise and that is fine but I doubt (actually, closer to sure than doubt) if that will happen. I said before that if Federer does not win it, I want Nadal to take it. With del Potro contending, I have become ambivalent. The good thing is I will be happy if either takes the title.

SG1 Says:

Roger opened up last night’s match going to the Del Potro forehand an awful lot. Not sure if he was trying to open up the backhand side with this strategy. Ultimately, he lost the forehand battle with Del Potro. Hard to believe that JMDP wouldn’t have 6 or 7 majors by now if not for the wrist issues. An incredibly dominant physical presence and tough as nails mentally.

I surely hope he wins this tournament. It would make for a great story and couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

SG1 Says:

There was a forehand he hit in the first set that just skidded off the back line. My jaw dropped when he hit it. He may have the hardest full power forehand in the history of the sport.

Raj Says:

Fed has good year so far.. 2 slams and 2 masters.. beating rafa 3 times. and winning AO final against him (kind of 2009 revenge)..

For Rafa, second set will be key in friday’s semi against DelPo. He will loose first set for sure like 6-2 score.. if he loses second set, it will be over..

BBB Says:

During the match, the commentators were saying Ljubcic is coach of the year, and I thought “Really?” And if he’s the one who suggested Federer could break down JMP’s forehand, he’s really not a candidate for coach of the year. JMP was spraying the ball at first but all those shots to his forehand enabled him to sort it out.

skeezer Says:

I thought Fed would mix it up more. Short chips, drop shots, after all Delpo is a big man. Move him up and back side to side. But, what do I know? Either Delpo wouldn’t let him or Fed got into one of his stubborn “I can hit harder than this guy” routines from the BL. Well…..Ahem. thought he would learn a little from 2009..

Roman Says:

Nadal will have serious problems against the FH of del Potro. This version of Rafa, a much more agressive version than before, can’t consistently deal with the power of delPo shots. In hard courts, Shapovalov showed 2 weeks ago that Nadal can be overpowered.

gonzalowski Says:

But, Roman, Rafa is an expert on charging effectively his opponent’s backhand… is almost his ‘trademark’!
I think argentinian supporters won’t respect Rafa as much as Fed yesterday… and that annoys me :)

gonzalowski Says:

just reading about Jimena, JMDP supporter…(and friend); I have changed my mind about these supporters ;)

Okiegal.... Says:

SG1……Totally agree about the hard powerful strokes of DP…….the continuing wrist problems proves it, but he’s supposedly changed some things . Hopefully he will keep this streak going, with the exception of Rafa! Lol But seriously, it’s good to have him in the mix again!

Willow Says:

Gonzalowski really love reading your posts :-)

James Says:

Been years since I last posted on here. I see there’s another poster with James as his moniker and has some very respectful comments about Nadal ;)

Loved seeing Delpo beat Federer in the semis final. Was cheering for the underdog in that match. A SF is a great showing for him after all the injuries he has gone through.

Nadal’s draw has indeed anywhere easy draw. I’m glad he is finally taking advantage of a weak era like his two great rivals did.

gonzalowski Says:

thanks Willow! :))
glad to read you, too

Truth Says:

“GOAT” Fed says he should’ve won 2009 US Open, but I’m sure he believes Del Potro fluke lost their 2012 French open match and that Del Po had no business reaching Slam quarterfinals and should’ve retired like Roddick did.
Supposedly, in 2012, Del Po was very old, and past prime too.
Berdych didn’t throw away an Australian Open vs. Fed either.

Truth Says:

Fred played with injured players that had mental illness and saved their body from further injuries in one year, yet Fred fans claim that Djoker, Nadal & Del Po were easy draws. Lies kill minds.

Lylenubbins Says:

Rafa better hit deep and aggressive….Delpo will munch on the mid court high bouncers

T Dawg Says:

Verrryyyy low-key tank in 4th by fed I’m thinking…back prolly tightening up and with delly serving in 4th, 5-4, 30-30 watch how it looks like fed misses the volley on purpose and then to a lesser extent delly serving 5-4, 40-30 fed takes off early but it looks like he picks the wrong way on purpose kinda.
I think fed knows he can’t beat rafa with a bad back and tanked the 4th because he thinks delly the moose can win.

Sivaji Says:

Does Sean around??.. No articles of “Picks and Pans” of USO

Willow Says:

Agree with you Sivaji come on Sean !

gonzalowski Says:

“A drama about the intense rivalry of tennis players Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, ”Borg/McEnroe”, opens the 42nd edition of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), one of the most important in the world”

Vince Says:

/*Does Sean around??.. No articles of “Picks and Pans” of USO*/

Fed is out.. why to bother writing Picks and Pans…Others don’t deserve one.

Okiegal.... Says:

A person (#1) likes another person because that person doesn’t like a person that person (#1) doesn’t like????? Far out man……..Now let’s see…….🤔🤔🤔 LOL That’s great logic…..too funny!!

Willow Says:

Okie exactly Federers out so no bugger else is worth talking about i suppose *ROLLS EYES* ….

skeezer Says:

Why do you have to rely on a “article” to talk about the Delpo Rafa match?
You can start talking about it right now.
Oh…wait……it’s Feds fault again. Lucky guy.

skeezer Says:

Here is my pick. It’s all about Delpo’s serve. If he serves well like he did against Fed, Rafa gets his clock cleaned.

skeezer Says:

and there ya go,,,,,just checked and Sean has appeased the masses….

Willow Says:

Skeezer my reply was about Vinces post, who didnt feel anybody else was worthy of discussion with Federer gone ….

Vince Says:

Yes, enemy’s enemy is a friend.. thats the logic.

J-Kath Says:

James: Why don’t you change your moniker to James the First? and establish your longevity….

Top story: 12 Things I Think I Thought About Rafael Nadal And The French Open