Federer blows hot at windy U.S. Open

Thu Sep 9, 2010 10:30am EDT
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Roger Federer mastered the wild weather and his opponent to storm into the U.S. Open semi-finals on Wednesday and remain on course for another showdown with his great rival Rafa Nadal.

Federer was at his brilliant best as he outclassed Sweden's dual French Open finalist Robin Soderling 6-4 6-4 7-5 to reach the last four at Flushing Meadows for the seventh year in a row in conditions better suited for flying a kite than tennis.

"It's not easy, you know. It's cold, everywhere it's blowing. You feel like it's blowing through your ears and into your eyes," Federer told reporters.

"I used to dislike it so much (but) I'm on the other side now. I was able to turn it around and kind of take enjoyment out of playing in the wind."

Yet to drop a set in the tournament, Federer next plays Serbia's Novak Djokovic in Saturday's men's semi-finals with a final against Spain's Nadal looming large. The U.S. Open is the only grand slam where the pair have not met in the final.

Djokovic also advanced in straight sets, beating Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-6 6-1 6-2, but was unable to produce his best after gale force winds turned the last slam of the season into a lottery.

"These are the worst conditions at this tournament," Djokovic grumbled. "I don't think the crowd enjoyed the tennis too much."

Caroline Wozniacki and Vera Zvonarea steamed into women's semi-finals but were more relieved than excited after being tormented by the elements as much as their rivals.   Continued...

<p>Roger Federer of Switzerland serves to Robin Soderling of Sweden during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York September 8, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque</p>