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Legendary Swiss maestro Roger Federer added another chapter to his fairytale legacy by coming back from two sets to love down to beat Juan Martin del Potro to advance to the semi-finals of the French Open on Tuesday. Federer had dropped the opening two sets to the 9th seeded Argentine, 6-3, 7-6, but came back strongly to win the next three for the loss of just 5 games. An ill-timed knee injury to Del Potro at the start of the third set did not help the tall Argentine, who knows it is hard enough to beat Roger on two legs, leave alone one. As his reward, the 16-time Grand Slam champion will face the top seed Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals. Djokovic also won his match the hard way, saving four match points and breaking countless French hearts to stun the no.5 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in an epic contest.
Del Potro came into his match with Federer having lost to the greatest player of all time in each of their previous 5 meetings. With absolutely nothing to lose, the Tower of Tandil came out swinging, breaking Federer thrice in the opening set en route to capturing it 6-3. A first serve percentage of below 50 did not help the Swiss legend's cause, something he failed to rectify for most of the second set.
After trading breaks, the set made its way into a tiebreak which Del Potro powered through 7-4, dominating play with his powerful groundstrokes, forcing Federer to be on the defensive right through.
However, an injury to his left knee knocked the wind out of Del Potro's sails as he capitulated poorly over the next two sets, dropping them in under an hour, 6-2, 6-0 with his serve being broken 5 times by Federer. A solitary break early in the final set decided the match, with Federer saving his best for last, hitting 17 winners in the fifth set to win it 6-3.
It was the 7th time that Roger had overcome a two-sets to love deficit, and the veteran agreed that he drew inspiration from having done so before in Paris against Tommy Haas a few years ago. Federer summed up his performance perfectly in his post match press conference, stating, "The road to victory is much longer (in a Grand Slam) and it's not a sprint; it's a marathon. I'm happy I came through. I feel great, you know, after the fiveâ€‘setter. So I'm obviously happy I get two days, but it's not necessary. Looking forward to a big semifinal."
File Photograph Copyright: Madrid Masters
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