Barclays ATP World Tour Finals: Roger Federer beats Juan Martin del Potro
Roger Federer beat Juan Martin del Potro 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 to progress into the last four of the ATP World Tour Finals.
Last Updated: 10/11/13 11:31am
The six-time champion came from behind to triumph 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 7-5 at London's O2 Arena and set up a clash with Group A winner Rafa Nadal.
Going into the game, Federer ended a three-match losing streak against the Argentinian at the Paris Masters last week, giving him extra belief that he could continue his record of always having made the last four at the O2.
But it was far from easy for the Swiss ace, with del Potro showing his intent by running up a triple break point on Federer's serve in the first game. While Federer won two points back, he skied a forehand to give his opponent the break.
Federer took del Potro's first service game to deuce, but the fourth seed held his nerve and served out to take a 2-0 lead.
The Argentinian then broke Federer again to race into a 5-1 first set lead but the 17-time Grand Slam champion fought back to reduce the deficit to 5-4 and then hold advantage on the del Potro serve.
But del Potro held his nerve yet again to take the set 6-4 and he pushed on and broke Federer to hold a 3-1 lead in the second set.
But Federer again fought back, breaking to level at 3-3, and the set went with serve to the tie-break.
Federer won this in imperious fashion - serving an ace to claim a 7-2 victory - and force the final set.
Del Potro again started well, breaking his opponent to move 3-0 up and within touching distance of the semis.
But 32-year-old Federer showed he has lost none of his desire for the game and fought back once more to level at 3-3.
The set went with serve until Federer notched the decisive break at 5-5. Running round his backhand, the sixth seed powered a forehand return that was too hot to handle and leapt in the air as del Potro's reply went long.
Serving it out was not entirely straightforward but del Potro netted a backhand when he had the chance to break back and Federer clinched victory with his 10th ace after two hours and 26 minutes.
He will now play Nadal on Sunday afternoon with Novak Djokovic meeting Richard Gasquet in a dead Group A rubber on Saturday evening.
A delighted Federer told Sky Sports: "A lot of coming from behind, trying to get back into the match, and it was amazing that I was able to pull it off.
"I could never play free-flowing tennis. I fought hard, maybe got a bit lucky at times.
"I don't get a day off, I've got to back it up and be ready to go again tomorrow. "I'll try to make his (Nadal's) life a bit difficult."