Federer faces familiar foe in U.S. Open quarters

Tue Sep 7, 2010 8:43pm EDT
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Roger Federer hopes a return to one of his favorite surfaces will help him avenge his only defeat to Robin Soderling when they clash in the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open on Wednesday.

Federer won his first 12 matches with the big-serving Swede but spoiled his perfect record when he lost to Soderling in the quarter-finals of this year's French Open.

The pair are again drawn to face each other in the final eight of a grand slam, and while the hardcourts at Flushing Meadows have traditionally favored Federer, he remains wary after their last clash.

"I expect it to be really tough, especially now that he's gotten a taste of how to beat me," Federer said. "It's up to me to clean up my game and put in a good performance.

Federer was denied his sixth straight U.S. Open title when he lost the final to Juan Martin del Potro last year but is in great form this time, winning his first four matches in straight sets.

Soderling has had to work a little harder, taken to five sets in the opening round and four in his last match, but holds no fears about playing the world number two.

"I played him so many times, I know his game and he knows mine," said Soderling. "I'm pretty sure how I need to play to have a chance to win but, you know, it's going to be extremely difficult if I play Roger."

The winner will play either Novak Djokovic or Gael Monfils in Saturday's semi-finals.   Continued...

<p>Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates winning a point against Jurgen Melzer of Austria during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York September 6, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine</p>