Del Potro taking inspiration from 2009 triumph

Juan Martin Del Potro heads into the semi-finals of the 2017 US Open in a rather similar situation to his 2009 triumph when he defeated both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal on the way to winning his only grand slam title.

The 28-year-old Argentine defeated Federer in four sets on Wednesday to set up a semi-final clash against world number one Nadal on Friday.

In the 2009 US Open semi-final, Del Potro hammered Nadal in straight sets dropping just six games to then go on and beat Federer in five sets in the final.

Since then Del Potro has struggled with injuries over the years including three wrist surgeries that almost forced him to give up the sport.

In an interview after his four set victory against Federer on Wednesday, the Argentine said he felt he could be a danger to upsetting Nadal's charge to the final.  

“I know if I play my best tennis, I could be a danger for him,” Del Potro said.

”Physically I‘m not in the perfect conditions, but when you play semi-finals of a grand slam, everything can happen, so you must be ready for the chance.

“Playing against Rafa in my favourite tournament, I will try to enjoy the atmosphere and the game.”

The 28-year-old believes that he will need to put up a better performance than against Federer to stand any chance of defeating the 30-year-old Nadal.

”Tomorrow is going to be a different match than the past,” he said. ”He’s the number one player in the world and he’s playing so confident this tournament.

”He’s a lefty guy, so he has a chance to find easily my backhand. So I don’t know what’s going to be my strategy.

“But for sure I will try to make winners with my forehands and don’t run too much because my legs are tired. But it will be an interesting match to play.”

Del Potro’s backhand is considered his weaker side but it looked solid against Federer and showed no sign of weakness.

“I think my backhand is improving every week,” he added. ”Tonight (Wednesday) I made my best backhands on the tournament in the important moments of the match, and it was in the set point of the third set.

“Then to break his serve in the fourth, and I hit my best backhand on the tournament tonight, which is a good signal for the future.”

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