2009 all over again as Del Potro upsets Federer at US Open


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    Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina has defeated Roger Federer. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

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    Juan Martin del Potro made sure there will be no US Open match-up between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal this year with the Brazilian winning their quarter-final in four sets.

    Del Potro ended Federer’s 18-match Grand Slam winning streak with a 7-5 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-4 victory over the current Wimbledon champion.

    The result prevented Federer and Nadal from meeting in the semifinals, which would have been their first head-to-head showdown at Flushing Meadows.

    It’s the only major tournament where the longtime rivals have never faced each other.

    Instead, it will be 2009 champion del Potro against two-time winner Nadal in Friday’s semifinals.

    Earlier, world No.1 Nadal gave Russian teenager Andrey Rublev a tennis lesson to race into the semi-finals of the US Open.

    The 19-year-old, who grew up idolising Nadal and had the Spaniard’s poster pinned up on his bedroom wall was smiling from ear-to-ear as he posed for pre-match photos with his hero.

    That would be the highlight of an eye-opening afternoon for the Russian youngster as Nadal showed no mercy during a one hour, 37 minute thrashing.

    “I knew a great new generation coming and Andrey is one of these players that have a great future and I wish him all the best,” Nadal said, after clinching his spot in his 26th grand slam semi-final.

    “It was a good match and obviously it was Andrey’s first quarter-finals and of course he played with some more mistakes than usual, but for me it was an important victory winning the last two matches in straight sets.”

    While fans were still filing into Arthur Ashe Stadium, Nadal was wrapping up a clinical first set in 23 minutes.

    Rublev offered some resistance to start the second but it was brief, Nadal breaking to go up 3-2 and again to close out the set.

    A relentless Nadal broke to open the third and when Rublev double-faulted to hand him yet another break at 4-1, the dejected Russian simply bent over and let his racquet drop.

    But Rublev was not done scolding himself, dropping into his chair during the changeover then hammering away at his foot with his racquet.

    © AAP 2018

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