Classy Federer sets up clash with Djokovic

Fri Nov 1, 2013 6:42pm EDT
 
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By Gregory Blachier

PARIS (Reuters) - Former world number one Roger Federer looked like his old self when he beat Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3 4-6 6-3 at the Paris Masters on Friday to set up a semi-final clash with Novak Djokovic.

Top seed Rafa Nadal destroyed local favorite Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-1 as he stepped up his bid for a record sixth Masters Series crown in the same season.

The Spaniard, who is chasing his 11th title of the year and is the only player left in the tournament not to have already won the indoor event, next faces compatriot and title holder David Ferrer.

Third seed Ferrer, beaten in the French Open final the last time he played against Nadal, defeated 2005 champion Tomas Berdych 4-6 7-5 6-3.

Federer, who had lost his last three encounters with the towering Del Potro including the Basel Open final on Sunday, defeated a top-10 player for the first time since January and will now feature in his second Masters Series semi-final of the year.

He takes on Djokovic, who hammered Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 6-1 6-4, for the first time since the 2012 ATP World Tour Finals.

World number seven Federer has a 16-13 record against the Serb who won their last meeting in London a year ago.

"Roger is probably experiencing the worst season he's had in the last 10 years but he's still a player to beat in every tournament because he's Roger Federer, because he's won 17 grand slams," Djokovic told a news conference.   Continued...

 
Roger Federer of Switzerland serves to Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina in their quarterfinals match at the Paris Masters men's singles tennis tournament at the Palais Omnisports of Bercy in Paris, November 1, 2013. REUTERS/Charles Platiau