Looking as strong as ever, the US Open defending champion managed to outplay the Argentinean in three straight sets, 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-4, to earn his 10th consecutive trip into a Grand Slam semifinals. But despite what you might make out of the overwhelming three set win, Del Potro had a fabulous game against the Serb. The match included a thrilling 20-stroke game that could have only come from a matchup between two previous US Open Championship. Some dozen shots into the play, Del Potro sprinted with his back to the court, got to the ball and lofted a lob the other way. It was a miracoulous save. Djokovic responded with a slamming overhead. Del Potro somehow kept the ball in play right in front of the net. Djokovic laced a drop shot. Again, del Potro got there, attempting another lob. This time, it landed a little long.
This was the turning point of the matchup. Del Po was never able to get back into the game after this point. Juan Martin del Potro had defeated Novak Djokovic on their previous matchup as both went on head to head for the bronze medal in the London 2012 Summer Olympics. At the end, when it came to the bigger stage, it was the Djoker making the best out of that matchup. “We played some incredible rallies and incredible points,” the second-seeded Djokovic said. “It’s always entertaining, always so much fun, playing in these night sessions.” This was by far the first real test for Novak in the 2012 US Open. Let’s not forget that for the better part of the tournament, Djokovic just kept on rolling over his opponents. As a matter of fact, he hasn’t loss a single set yet.
But if anyone was going to give him a fight, a run for his money, that was going to be the tall and slender Argentine that kept on smacking down 100 mph forehands. Just to put this into the right perspective, consider for a moment that Djokovic’s and del Potro’s second set alone lasted 84 minutes. That is, 11 more minutes than the Djoker’s entire first round match last week. It is really a shame that Argentinean player has not been able to reach his full potential since he last won the tournament at Flushing Meadows. Injuries have really kept him from staying constant in the tour. Let’s not forget that he was sidelined for most of the 2010 season because of a right wrist injury that required surgery. Last year he had some issues with his lower back and to make things more complicated earlier this year he had problems with his left wrist, an injury that has limited the effectiveness of his two-fisted backhand.
Djokovic will now face the fourth-seeded David Ferrer in the semifinals on Saturday. Ferrer had to rely heavily on his speed and skill to defeat eighth-seeded Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-3, 6-7 (5), 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) in 4 hours, 31 minutes. The other quarterfinal will be played between Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray and Thomas Berdych of the Czech Republic, who pulled off an amazing upset over Roger Federer last night. Stay tuned for more action at the 2012 US Open.