Mighty Juan Martín del Potro scuppers hopes of Federer-Nadal clash at US Open

Juan Martin del Potro celebrates beating Roger Federer

  • Del Potro beats Roger Federer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4 to move into semi-final

Riding an implausible wave of retro romance, Roger Federer, 36 and in sight of his third slam title of the year, foundered on the sharp rocks of hubris on day 10 of the US Open when Juan Martín del Potro ripped up his invitation to a semi-final against Rafael Nadal.

Instead, the big man from Tandil will be Nadal’s opponent on Friday. The world No1 leads him 8-5 over their careers, but only a brave bookmaker would make either of them a clear favourite. Earlier, Nadal, a two-time New York champion, was at his commanding best in dismissing the limp but fevered challenge of the Russian teenager, Andrey Rublev, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2. That, though, was not a reliable guide to what awaits the Spanish clay-court supremo on Friday.

Del Potro, his mighty forehand clicking like a rifle, deserves to be there after winning 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4 in two hours and 50 minutes under the roof on Arthur Ashe.

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