Federer breezes past Soderling into semi-finals

Thu Sep 9, 2010 12:36am EDT
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Roger Federer won a measure of revenge and a return to the U.S. Open semi-finals as he beat fifth-seeded Swede Robin Soderling 6-4 6-4 7-5 on Wednesday to book his place in the last four for a seventh successive time.

Federer, showing the all-round brilliance that has won him a record 16 grand slam titles, refused to let gusty winds at Arthur Ashe Stadium slow down his charge as he routed Soderling, who had eliminated him in the quarter-finals at this year's French Open.

The 29-year-old Swiss, whose string of five consecutive U.S. Open titles was snapped in last year's final, commanded his serve with power and precision through the adverse conditions to quash Soderling in just under two hours.

Federer demoralized the big-hitting Swede, who was runner-up at the last two French Opens, by firing in 18 aces, while Soderling could only muster two as he went down meekly on a cold, windy New York night.

The Swiss master said figuring out how to deal with conditions was simply part of his job description.

"I've practiced my serve my whole career," said Federer, who put 64 percent of his first serves in play and won 86 percent of them. "If I can't serve in the wind I've got a problem.

"You can wake me up at 2:00 in the morning or 4:00 in the morning I can hit serves. It's what we do."

RIGHT PLACE   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 (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)</p>