Wawrinka grounds del Potro to enter US Open semis
New York, Sep 8 (IANS) Fifth-seeded Stan Wawrinka reached the US Open tennis semi-finals for the third time with a 7-6(5), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro.
The Swiss, who hit 53 winners including 10 aces here on Wednesday, will now face sixth seed and 2014 finalist Kei Nishikori, who beat Andy Murray, the second seed and 2012 winner, earlier in the day.
“It’s going to be interesting for sure,” said Wawrinka after the match, looking forward to playing Nishikori.
“We have played many times against each other. He beat me a few years ago here in the quarter-finals. He beat me in Toronto and I beat him in Australia. I saw him play today. He was playing really well. We will see also how I’m going to feel physically in two days to get ready for that. I’m ready for a match against Kei.”
The late night match was a contrast in styles between Wawrinka’s balanced attack and del Potro’s forehand-centric game.
Played in humid conditions, the Argentine raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set, but Wawrinka’s precise baseline patterns and finishing power from the backhand side allowed him to regain the initiative.
Wawrinka started the fourth set with a break and held his nerve to record his 37th match win of the season (37-12 overall). It was his first victory over del Potro since 2008 Wimbledon.
“It was important to stay there, to stay tough. I knew before the match that against del Potro it’s a tough challenge. He’s playing well. He’s strong mentally. He doesn’t give you much,” said Wawrinka.
“It’s going to be painful physically and mentally to stay there, so I had to adapt my game a little bit. It’s not a player that I can really always play the way I want to against, because he’s so aggressive… I’m happy with the way I was fighting, with myself. I’m happy with the way I found a solution in the third set to take advantage.”
Wawrinka has a 3-2 advantage over Nishikori in their head to head record.
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