Thursday, September 10, 2009

US OPEN: Federer overcomes late surge from Soderling, Djokovic awaits in semis

Photo Credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

So for the third straight year, Roger Federer will face Novak Djokovic at the US Open. Last year it was the semis, the year before it was the final, and this Saturday, the number 1 and 4 seeds shall meet in the 2009 US Open semifinals.

Federer had to overcome Sweden's Robin Soderling in the quarters to reach his 22nd straight Grand Slam semifinal.

I watched the first 2 sets of this match before I decided I couldn't bare the snoozefest anymore since Federer was up 6-0, 6-3, and was hitting the ball as clean as ever, while Soderling had zero solutions. So my question is: when exactly did this match get competitive??!?! Because even when I randomly switched back to catch the third set tiebreak, Soderling was down 0-3, so I switched to football once again assuming the match was over.

So you can imagine my surprise when a while later, I switched back to find Federer and Soderling tied on serve at 2-2 in the fourth set, and somehow the Swede found a way to get his shots in place and give Federer a run for his money.

The fourth set which also ended with a tiebreak was super tight as both players served canon balls from each side, but it only took one single mini-break at 7-6, for Federer to grab the W, and record his 12th straight win over Soderling (in case you were wondering, Soderling has zero wins over Federer).

So it's gonna be showdown number 13 between Federer and the Djoker, who trails the Swiss 4-8 in their head-to-head record. Djokovic however is 2-1 against Federer this year alone, including a hard court victory in Miami (before Federer's dream season began).

The two met as recent as last month in the Cincinnati final, where Federer beat Djokovic to clinch the title.

The two remaining quarterfinals will be played on Thursday, as Juan Martin Del Potro faces Marin Cilic third match from 11:00 a.m. (NY time) while Rafael Nadal faces Fernando Gonzalez at 7:00 pm (NY time).

Random Fact (courtesy of the ATP website):

World number 4, Djokovic, can rise to number 2 in the rankings, if he wins the US Open and if Nadal loses in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

Far-fetched but good to know !!

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