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'If I play my best tennis, I could be a danger for him'

Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina hits a return against Roger Federer of Switzerland at the US Open.
Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina hits a return against Roger Federer of Switzerland at the US Open. BRIAN HIRSCHFELD

TENNIS: It might not be the dream match-up everyone wanted but Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal are still expected to serve up a tasty semi-fnal at the US Open on Saturday morning.

Del Potro ruined the potential clash of the veterans by defeating Roger Federer on Wednesday and will be looking to repeat his win over the Spaniard at the same stage when he won the US Open title in 2009.

The Argentine has had an injury-ravaged few years since that win but after a five-set victory over rising Austrian star Dominic Thiem and a four-set win over Federer, he is ready for the challenge against the world No.1.

"Physically I'm not in the perfect condition but when you play semi-finals on the grand slam, everything can happen," said Del Potro, who has also had to fight off illness.

"So you must be ready for the chance and playing against Rafa in my favourite tournament, I will try to enjoy the atmosphere, the game, and I know if I play my best tennis, I could be a danger for him."

Saturday's other semi is between 12th-seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta and South African Kevin Anderson, both of whom are playing their first grand slam semi-final.

 

Sloane Stephens, of the United States, reacts after defeating countrywoman Venus Williams in the US Open semi-finals.
Sloane Stephens, of the United States, reacts after defeating countrywoman Venus Williams in the US Open semi-finals. Julio Cortez

In Friday's women's semis 24-year-old American Sloane Stephen stunned veteran compatriot and two-time champion Venus Williams 6-1 0-6 7-5.

Stephens was delighted and surprised to have won after having missed 11 months of the season following foot surgery.

"If someone had told me when I started my comeback that I would make two semi-finals and a grand slam final I would have passed out," she said.

"I have no words to describe my feelings and what it took to get here," she said.

"I also have no idea how I have done it ... just hard work. I hung tough, gritted it out. I worked my tail off."

Stephens will play countrywoman Madison Keys in Sunday morning's final.

Keys defeated another American, CoCo Vandeweghe, 6-1 6-1 in the other semi.

Topics:  juan martin del potro madison keys rafael nadal us open (tennis)

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