Wawrinka beats Del Potro to reach U.S. Open semis

Thu Sep 8, 2016 2:48am EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka outlasted tiring former champion Juan Martin del Potro in four sets to advance to the semi-finals of the U.S. Open on Wednesday.

Twice grand slam winner Wawrinka ended the rousing comeback effort by the Argentine 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, the 2009 winner, 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 favorite at Flushing Meadows since his five-set finals 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 Argentine 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.   Continued...

Sep 7, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland reacts during the match against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina on day ten of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports