Federer brushes aside Del Potro to reach semi-finals in his 1,000th match
Roger Federer moved into his ninth
successive Australian Open semi-final – and a possible meeting
with Rafael Nadal – after a straight-set demolition of Juan Martin Del
The Swiss great, a four-time
champion in Melbourne, looked close to his very best as he brushed Del
Potro aside 6-4 6-3 6-2 in his 1000th tour-level match.
Red hot: Roger Federer marked 1,000th match with impressive win
He will meet old foe Nadal next if the Spaniard can overcome Tomas Berdych.
Federer's place in the last four was never in doubt after a masterclass which will not have gone unnoticed by his title rivals.
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He came out of the blocks quickly, racing into a 3-0 lead and it took a titanic effort from Del Potro to battle back and level it at 4-4.
But serving at 4-5, Del Potro faltered as two wonderful forehand winners from Federer handed him two set points and he clinched it on the first as the Argentinian double-faulted under the pressure.
A crushing backhand gave Federer a 3-1 advantage in the second set although he had to hold off some stiff Del Potro resistance at 5-3 – his 6ft 6in opponent seeing four break points come and go.
It turned out to be the key game in the match as, from two sets down, a Del Potro comeback never looked likely.
The 2009 US Open champion was broken again in the opening game of the third and then again for 5-2 as Federer cruised home.
'I am happy, I thought it was a great match,' he said. 'It was tough with the sun and the shade creeping across the court but I thought it was a really high quality match.
'Juan Martin is a great player and I knew how hard he could hit the ball so I tried to manoeuvre him round a little bit.'
Feeling the heat: Juan Martin Del Potro