London - Juan Martin del Potro played through the pain barrier to reach his
first Wimbledon semi-final as the former US Open champion defeated
Spanish fourth seed David Ferrer 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) on Wednesday.
eighth seed Del Potro emerged unscathed despite a nasty fall in the
first game of the quarter-final that required several minutes' treatment
and briefly appeared to leave him in tears.
The 24-year-old was
clearly struggling to move at times, but he gritted his teeth through
two hours and 16 minutes of gruelling action, unloading 42 winners and
12 aces to finally subdue the battling Spaniard.
reward for his heroic efforts is a daunting clash against world number
one Novak Djokovic on Friday for a place in Sunday's final.
It will be del Potro's first Grand Slam semi-final appearance since his breakthrough triumph at the US Open four years ago.
Potro is just the second Argentine man to feature in the Wimbledon
semi-finals, following in the footsteps of David Nalbandian in 2002.
how close he was to pulling out, he said: "Really close because I felt a
lot of pain in the beginning of the match. It was exactly the same like
I did before. It's really, really painful. I twisted my knee once again
but the doctor gave me some magic pills so I could finish the match and
I'm so glad to go through.
"I think I played my best tennis in
this match. I hit really well my forehand, my serves and in the end I
played my best forehand ever in this Wimbledon -- I was lucky that that
ball was in and I won the match."
This was del Potro's first
appearance in the last eight at Wimbledon, but he took the bronze medal
at last year's London Olympics, played at the All England Club, after
beating Djokovic in the third place match and now he has avenged his
last 16 loss to Ferrer at Wimbledon 12 months ago.
before the start of the quarter-final suggested Ferrer had struggled so
badly with ankle and toe injuries that he could only practise for a
couple of minutes on Wednesday morning before seeking out a doctor.
Ironically it was del Potro who suffered the more serious injury scare after just four points.
40-15 on Ferrer's serve, del Potro stretched to reach a shot on the
baseline and took a nasty fall which bent his left leg at an awkward
It was del Potro's left knee, already heavily strapped
after a previous injury earlier in the tournament, that the doctor
focused on but the Argentine opted to keep playing.
Incredibly it was a limping del Potro who broke in the third game and then again in the seventh before serving out the set.
Potro kept slugging away from the baseline, putting enough pressure on
Ferrer to take the second set as well after breaking for a 5-4 lead when
the Spaniard netted a backhand.
The Argentine was still made to
sweat by the relentless Ferrer, but the del Potro finally delivered the
knockout blow in the third set tie-break with a brilliant forehand
winner on the run.Men's singles:
Novak Djokovic (SRB x1) bt Tomas Berdych (CZE x7) 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 6-3
Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG x8) bt David Ferrer (ESP x4) 6-2, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)
Jerzy Janowicz (POL x24) bt Lukasz Kubot (POL) 7-5, 6-4, 6-4
Andy Murray (GBR x2) bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5
Ivan Dodig/Marcelo Melo (CRO/BRA x12) bt James Blake/Jurgen Melzer (USA/AUT) 7-5, 6-0, 6-7 (0/7), 6-4
Shuko Aoyama/Chanelle Scheepers (JPN/RSA) bt Julia Goerges/Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (GER/CZE x16) 7-6 (8/6), 5-7, 6-4
Hsieh Su-Wei/Peng Shuai (TPE/CHN x8) bt Jelena Jankovic/Mirjana Lucic (SRB/CRO) 6-4, 7-5
Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Kveta Peschke (GER/CZE x7) bt Nadia Petrova/Katarina Srebotnik (RUS/SLO x3) 7-6 (7/2), 6-3
Ashleigh Barty/Casey Dellacqua (AUS/AUS x12) bt Andrea Hlavackova/Lucie Hradecka (CZE/CZE x2) 2-6, 6-2, 6-4