Juan Martin del Potro sensationally gatecrashed the US Open again on Wednesday, stunning five-champion Roger Federer and shattering hopes of a first New York showdown between the Swiss legend and Rafael Nadal.
The Argentine giant, who won his only Grand Slam title in the city in 2009 by beating Federer in the final after seeing off Nadal in the semis, triumphed 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(8), 6-4 in front of a spellbound Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd.
This is del Potro’s first semi-final at the US Open since his title run in 2009. Incidentally, the 28-year-old will once again face world No 1 Nadal in the semi-finals on Friday, in a rematch of their 2009 semi-final showdown.
Del Potro’s win is also a stunning achievement for a man who had saved two match points to beat sixth seed Dominic Thiem in the last-16 after having considered retiring midway through the match because of illness.
In the second-half of the men’s draw, Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta and South African Kevin Anderson will vie for a place in the final. It will be the first time that either of them would be reaching the final of a Major.