2017 US Open: Roger Federer ousted, del Potro through to semis

By @saihoops on
Roger Federer, Juan Martin del Potro, 2017 US Open
Sep 6, 2017; New York, NY, USA; Roger Federer of Switzerland leaves the court after losing to Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina on day ten of the U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. USA TODAY Sports / Robert Deutsch

World No. 3 Roger Federer was eliminated from the 2017 US Open Wednesday by big-serving Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in the Round of 16. Federer was just a win away from setting up a first-ever showdown against Rafael Nadal at the US Open -- barely hours after the Spaniard punched his ticket into the semi-final. 

Del Potro, the 2009 US Open champion, prevailed 7-5 3-6 7-6 (10-8) 6-4 to reach the last four, thrilling his large contingent of supporters at Flushing Meadows, New York. In 2009, a 20-year-old Del Potro put the tennis world on notice when he beat Nadal and Federer in back-to-back matches to clinch his first major title. However, Del Potro suffered a series of career-threatening injuries, which derailed his chances of challenging the sport's Big 4. At the age of 28, Del Potro seems to be enjoying a career renaissance. 

Federer, who breezed to victory at the Wimbledon without dropping a set, has been out-of-sorts since arriving in New York a fortnight ago. After needing five sets to win his opening two rounds, Federer was no match for Del Potro, who dominated the Swiss Master with a service game clinic. 

2017 US Open: Juan Martin del Potro catches fire

"I think I played my best match of the tournament. I played everything well. My serve was good, I hit my forehands as hard as I possibly could. This is my home court too. The fans make me feel happy every time I play here. I hope against Rafa the crowd will be cheering for me again," Del Potro said after Wednesday's victory, less than 48 hours after his epic five-set victory over No. 6 seed Dominic Thiem.

Though Federer still holds a 16-6 career head-to-head edge over Del Potro, the big-serving Argentine will always be remembered as the man who upset the Swiss Master on two occasions at the US Open. Besides the wins in 2009 and 2017, Del Potro got the better of Federer at the 2012 ATP Finals and 2009 ATP Finals, both staged in London. Though Nadal would start Friday's semi-final as the favourite, Del Potro could pose the World No. 1 problems aplenty with his booming service game.

South African Kevin Anderson and Spanish World No. 19 Pablo Carreno Busta will face off in the other men's semi-final. Nadal and Federer have won the remaining three Grand Slams of the year. Barring a monumental upset, Nadal is expected to hoist the trophy on Sunday and win Grand Slam No. 16.