Sunday, 13 September 2009

Tennis : Del Potro thrashes Nadal in semis




US OPENVenue: Flushing Meadows, New York Date: 31 August - 14 SeptemberBBC coverage: Live text commentaries on the website from 1600 BST each day, regular updates on 5 live, full commentary on 5 live sports extra in week two, both finals on 5 live. Live on Sky Sports and Eurosport.


Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro hammered world number three Rafael Nadal to reach his first Grand Slam final at the US Open.
The 20-year-old sixth seed played magnificently as he overpowered the Spaniard 6-2 6-2 6-2.
He will face defending champion Roger Federer or fourth seed Novak Djokovic in Monday's final, with the second semi-final to follow later on Sunday.
"This is my favourite tournament," said Del Potro afterwards.
"The stadium, the crowd, and I'm very close to my dream of winning this tournament. I think this is the best moment of my life.
"I was so focused in every moment because Rafa is so strong, he can run for five hours, six hours."
Nadal was attempting to reach his first US Open final having won the other three Grand Slams, but his campaign had been hindered by an abdominal problem.
It was the blistering form of Del Potro that made the difference in the semi-final though, with the 6ft 6in Argentine dominant from the outset.
He saw a break point go begging in Nadal's first service game and then saved one himself in game three, before moving 3-1 clear when the Spaniard floated a backhand volley long.
606: DEBATE
Amazing how so much can change in a year. It was only this time last year that Del Potro took on Andy Murray in the US Open quarter finals and divided opinion.
towser83
Nadal was on the backfoot as Del Potro's power and reach at the baseline, along with the depth of his groundstrokes, gave him the edge.
Another two break points slipped by for Nadal in game seven, and Del Potro made him pay with another break as he converted a third set point in game eight with a fierce forehand winner.
It was a similar story in the second set as Nadal battled away gamely and fashioned more opportunites but could not contain the sixth seed.
Again, Nadal had the first chance with a break point in the opening game, but a defensive lob went just wide and Del Potro moved 3-1 clear when the Australian Open champion double-faulted on break point in game four.
Del Potro missed four points for the double-break in a tense sixth game as the situation seemed to be affecting him for the first time, but any nerves quickly disappeared and he hammered away an unstoppable cross-court backhand for another 6-2 set.
When the Argentine moved 2-0 clear at the start of the third, Nadal looked done for, and although he kept fighting he just could not protect his serve - possibly because of the abdominal problem.
Del Potro held his nerve superbly as a first Grand Slam final loomed, breaking again before wrapping up the win in two hours and 20 minutes.
"It was a little bit unlucky year for me," said Nadal. "I started the year playing really well but that's sport.
"In Cincinnati (last month) and here, I had a problem with the right abdominal and it was difficult for me to serve.
"But he is playing very well and I am very happy for him."

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