Roger Federer swats aside Del Potro to set up Rafael Nadal Australian Open semi-final
Day nine of the Australian Open offered up some pulsating matches, including two mouth-watering quarter-finals involving Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The Swiss great was up against young Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro, whose remarkable height allows him to crash in some truly monstrous serves. Del Potro was eager to overcome a disappointing showing in the 2011 US Open, where he only managed to reach the third round before exiting at the hands of Frenchman Gilles Simon. Federer, too, has been looking to bounce back after a lacklustre 2011 by his own high standards. The match itself was a simple rout for Federer, his luscious stroke play too much for Del Potro to deal with. He disposed of the Argentine in three sets, 6-4 6-3 6-2, only taking 2 hours to do so. Del Potro will be disappointed not to have provided a sterner test for the rejuvenated world number 3.
Nadal made slightly harder work of his quarter-final. Up against a tricky and experienced opponent in the form of Tomas Berdych, who, back in 2010, was Nadal’s surprise opponent in the Wimbledon final. Berdych’s progression to this stage was achieved in a controversial manner – in his match against Almagro he refused to shake the Spaniard’s hand as he believed that he had hit a ball intentionally at him. Back to the today’s match, Nadal required four sets to beat Berdych after losing the first set on a tie-break. The stamina of Nadal allowed him to outlast Berdych and he won 6-7 7-6 6-4 6-3. Nadal’s victory sets up a semi-final between himself and Federer, two of the best players ever to grace the game.
Kim Clijsters beat Caroline Wozniacki, 6-3 7-6
Victoria Azarenka beat Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-7 6-0 6-2