World No. 1 Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic set up a semifinal meeting at the US Open by winning quarterfinal matches on Wednesday.
Federer defeated No. 12 seed Robin Soderling 6-0, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 in the final night match, while the No. 4-seeded Djokovic stopped the big-hitting No. 10 seed Fernando “Hot Sauce” Verdasco 7-6(2), 1-6, 7-5, 6-2.
The Swiss No. 1 staved off a fifth set with a narrow win in the fourth-set tiebreak.
“It feels great,” Federer said. “It was so close toward the end…Robin started to play better and better as the match went on. I thought [the weather] was cold, it felt like being at home from Switzerland.”
Djokovic said he looked forward to facing the Swiss.
“It feels great,” Djokovic said. “I mean, I haven’t done that in the past three Grand Slams this year, so mentally was very important for me to overcome today’s challenge and to be able to win quarterfinals and to get to the semifinals first time in the Grand Slams in 2009. So now that I’ve done it I feel kind of a relief, and I hope I just can continue playing well and challenge eventually Federer if he gets to the semifinal.”
Djokovic beat Federer earlier this year on hardcourt at Miami and on clay at Rome.
On tap for Thursday at the Open are quarterfinals (6) Juan Martin Del Potro vs. (16) Marin Cilic, and (11) Fernando Gonzalez vs. (3) Rafael Nadal.
TENNIS-X NEWS, NOTES, QUOTES AND BARBS
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James Martin of Tennis.com: “The rankings system has her relegated, inexplicably, to the No. 2 spot. But Serena Williams has been the best player on the planet for a decade, and she’s showing it again at the U.S. Open.” — Inexplicably? Here’s the explanation: she loses early at virtually every tournament except the Grand Slams. Explained?…
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