Friday 28 October 2016

Wawrinka ends Del Potro fairytale to book place in semi-finals


Larry Fine

Published 09/09/2016 | 02:30

Stan Wawrinka was victorious against Juan Martin del Potro
Stan Wawrinka was victorious against Juan Martin del Potro

Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka outlasted tiring former champion Juan Martin del Potro in four sets to advance to the semi-finals of the US Open.

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Twice grand slam winner Wawrinka ended the rousing comeback effort by the Argentinian at Flushing Meadows with a 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3 6-2 win to close out Day 10 at the year's last grand slam.

Del Potro, had missed nine successive slams due to a string of wrist surgeries before returning to Wimbledon, where he ousted Wawrinka in the second round, and went on to claim silver at the Rio Olympics.

"It was an amazing match for me, one of my toughest matches, mentally and physically against Juan Martin," Wawrinka said in an on-court interview.

"He's an incredible player and I'm really happy to have won that match."

A crowd favourite at Flushing Meadows since his five-set final win over Roger Federer, Del Potro charged to a 4-1 lead in the opening set before Wawrinka brought the set back on serve in the seventh game.


Del Potro's big forehand betrayed him in the tie-breaker, with three errors helping the Swiss claim the decider 7-5.

The Argentinian had his right shoulder manipulated during a second-set changeover at 2-3 and he responded with a service break for a 4-3 lead and served out the set.

As the match wore on, it became evident that a lack of conditioning was wearing Del Potro down and he became selective about which points to contest. The fit Wawrinka charged to victory, finding the range with his stylish one-handed backhand for winners up the line.

Elsewhere, Andy Murray admits recovering from his US Open heartache will be difficult before next week's Davis Cup semi-final against Argentina.

Murray had been favourite to claim his fourth grand slam title in Flushing Meadows but was beaten 1-6 6-4 4-6 6-1 7-5 by Kei Nishikori in the last eight.

The world number two must now turn his attention to Britain's crunch Davis Cup tie with Argentina, which is likely to involve him playing two singles rubbers, as well as doubles.

Murray has eight days to fly home and recuperate ahead of the contest in Glasgow and says he will have to make the most of his time off.

"I would like a little bit more time off, which obviously I will get when the Davis Cup is done, but I just need to be smart in the next few days because I need a lot of energy for those ties," he said.

Irish Independent

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