By Erik Gudris / November 1, 2013
Roger Federer secured his first top 10 win of the season since January with a victory over Juan Martin Del Potro
to reach the Paris Masters semis.
Photo Credit: AP
Roger Federer enjoys playing under the lights and he may be finding his best form just in time for next week's ATP World Tour Finals.
Having already qualified for the season-ending event earlier in the week, Federer put his focus to a quarterfinal showdown versus Juan Martin del Potro at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. It was their second meeting in two weeks with Del Potro having beaten Federer in the Basel final back in October.
Federer got off to a flying start by claiming an early break in the opening set. Up 3-1, Federer served out the game to love thanks to a deft drop shot placed out of del Potro's reach.
Seventeen winners later and it was Federer who pocketed the first set 6-3.
Serving at 75 percent at one stage and winning 93 percent of his first serve points, a free-flowing Federer looked poised to perhaps claim a straight-sets win over a sometimes weary looking del Potro.
But trouble reared its head when Federer tried to serve to stay in the set at 4-5. Untimely errors, especially off of Federer's forehand, allowed del Potro to hold set points. A netted forehand from Federer allowed the Argentine to break for the first time in the match and take the set 6-4.
The final set proved a tug of war between both men in the early stages. With the vocal Paris crowd exhorting Federer on, he increased his aggression from the baseline to surge to 0-40 on del Potro's serve. Federer soon broke for 3-2 but his advantage was short-lived.
Now it was del Potro's turn to come out with some flair as he launched a running crosscourt forehand passing shot to break back for 3-all. But Federer weathered del Potro's fury by again staying aggressive and making his way to net whenever possible.
Federer broke again and soon held serve at love to go up 5-3.
Not wanting to have to serve out the match, Federer pressed the issue again. He also brought back the drop shot that proved successful against del Potro earlier. Attacking the net, Federer soon held two match points.
Del Potro sent a final forehand long, allowing Federer to raise his arms in victory with the 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 win. Federer struck 36 winners and was an impressive 17 of 20 when up at net.
It was Federer's first victory over a top 10 opponent since beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Melbourne back in January.
Djokovic Races Past Wawrinka
Though both Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka have shared in dramatic contests against each other earlier this season, it was Djokovic who took control early in their quarterfinal match.
The first three games of the opening set proved jaw-dropping for many watching in the stands as both men played exceptional on each point. But Djokovic broke serve and then held for 3-0 and didn't allow Wawrinka to gain any momentum.
Another break of serve for Djokovic soon allowed the No. 2 seed to close out a convincing 6-1 first set.
Wawrinka rallied to make the second set closer. But with Djokovic saving four break points against him, there was little Wawrinka could do down the stretch.
Djokovic soon wrapped up the 6-1, 6-4 victory when Wawrinka hit a backhand well wide on match point. Wawrinka will now take comfort in having qualified for next week's ATP World Tour Finals for the first time in his career.
Djokovic now faces Federer in Saturday's semifinals, their first meeting since the ATP World Tour Finals last year.