Juan Martin del Potro and Roger Federer face off in a tantalising quarter-final at the US Open Thursday, a match that is sure to turn heads.
The Argentine was forced to pull out all the stops in his fourth round clash with sixth seed Dominic Thiem, coming back from two sets down to win a five set thriller. It was a typical Del Potro performance, with his languid manner being punctuated with moments of sheer brilliance where he looked unbeatable.
Having beaten each of the Big Four on several occasions, not many will doubt Del Potro’s calibre. But with fitness often waning from the big Tandil native, the question has to be asked: how much gas does he have left in the tank to face Federer?
The Swiss Maestro has enjoyed a superb year and is undefeated in the grand slams. As such, it’s hard to believe he is the one looking for revenge when the pair meet on Arthur Ashe.
Revenge you say? Let’s go back in time to 2009.
After narrowly losing the Australian Open final to rival Rafael Nadal, Federer won his only French Open title and Wimbledon back-to-back. He then eased through the opening rounds at Flushing Meadows and arrived at the final on the back of a 20 win streak in the slams.
Enter del Potro. Despite his impressive win over Nadal in the semis not many gave him a chance against the mercurial Federer in superb form. But somehow, he dug deep, and del Potro stunned the then 15-time grand slam winner in a five set epic.
That victory also ended Federer’s incredible run of five consecutive US Open titles.
Fast forward to today and Federer is on another impressive run and again del Potro is the underdog. But can he Argentine rally to find that extra gear needed for the likes of Federer? You bet he can…watch this space.