Federer sinks Del Potro to set up Nadal semi
Originally published on: 09/11/13 00:00
In his final round-robin match the Swiss came from behind to claim a 4-6 7-6(2) 7-5 victory and secure second place in Group B behind Novak Djokovic.
It means Federer will meet the winner of Group A, Nadal, in Sunday’s semi-finals, while Djokovic takes on Group A runner-up Stanislas Wawrinka at London's O2.
Federer, a six-time champion at the event, fell behind in all three sets and having won the second set on a tiebreak, immediately found himself 3-0 down in the decider. However, he dug deep and broke for a 6-5 lead before clinching victory after two hours, 26 minutes with an ace.
“I thought I was getting really angry at myself,” Federer said of the moment he fell behind in the third set. “[But] I stayed relatively calm inside because I had a lot of ups and downs [against Del Potro] in Basel and Paris.
“I felt like probably I will get one more chance to break back and that’s exactly what happened. To get the victory was a great feeling, so I was very happy.”
Federer has won just just 10 of 31 career meetings with Nadal, and has not beaten the Spaniard in three encounters this season. However, he has never lost to his rival indoors, boasting a 4-0 record against him in the year-end finals.
“I just have to have the right mindset to give it one last go, maybe play with a little less pressure than I have in previous matches maybe with him,” Federer added. “I just feel like I need to look at it more as being an underdog a little bit because of circumstances, because of my year, because of his year.”
Djokovic meanwhile, extended his winning streak to 20 matches with a 7-6(5) 4-6 6-3 win over Richard Gasquet, who leaves London after three defeats. The Frenchman played some scintillating tennis to win the second set, but could not sustain his challenge as the world No.2 wrapped up victory after two hours and nine minutes.