Swiss star swoops as opponent struggles with knee injury
Roger Federer produced a remarkable comeback to beat Juan Martin del Potro 3-6 6-7 6-2 6-0 6-3 in the quarter-finals of the French Open.It was the seventh time that the Swiss former world No.1 had recovered from a two-set deficit in his Grand Slam career as he reached his record-equalling 31st Grand Slam semi-final.
Federer won at Roland Garros in 2009 but has not added to his 16 major titles for two years.
Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, had looked on course for a straight sets win after unleashing a brutal display of power-hitting off both wings which left Federer struggling for answers.
But the Argentinian's hopes were all but ended by a recurrence of the knee injury which has plagued him in Paris and which left him struggling to move by the end of the match.
Despite coming onto Suzanne Lenglen court with his left knee heavily strapped, the ninth seed broke Federer three times in the opening set to take the early advantage.
Federer managed the first break to lead 3-2 in the second set, but back roared Del Potro to level at 3-3 and he romped through the tiebreak 7-4.
However, Del Potro, who had spent three hours more than Federer on court getting to this stage, suddenly wilted in the third set as his knee began to trouble him.
DoctorHe slipped 2-0 down on a double fault and at 3-1 down needed the doctor on court, not for the first time during this Roland Garros campaign.
Four games later, Federer broke again to take the third set.
It was a similar tale in the fourth as the Swiss star strolled to 6-0 with Del Potro, now struggling to move, winning just eight points.
Del Potro needed his knee bandaged before the decider got underway, but Federer was easily on top and wrapped up the victory when a forehand return from the Argentinian clipped the net and sailed out.
"I knew Juan Martin's knee was bothering him and was trying to finish the rallies quickly," said Federer. "I knew it would be a big fight today."
Federer, playing in his 50th straight Grand Slam tournament and 32nd consecutive quarter-final, took a 12-2 career advantage over the towering Argentine.
The 23-year-old Del Potro has lost all of his six meetings with the Swiss since returning after almost a year out following wrist surgery in 2011.
Federer, bidding for a record 17th grand slam crown, will face top seed Novak Djokovic for a place in Sunday's final.
Source : SkySport.com