Federer ‘relieved’ after grinding it out
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:48
Soderling won a rare set but Federer continued his unbeaten streak against the Swede to march into a semi-final against fourth seed Novak Djokovic.
It was not achieved without a fight, however, Soderling looking down and out after two one-sided sets but then making Federer work for the 6-0 6-3 6-7 (6-8 ) 7-6 (8-6) victory in two hours 33 minutes.
“This feels great,” Federer said. “It was so close towards the end and it’s just a great relief to come through because Robin just got better and better as the match went on.
“I knew it was going to be tough but the beginning was a bit too easy and all of a sudden he found his way into the match and showed what a great player he really is.”
Of his forthcoming meeting with Djokovic on Saturday, the third year in a row they have met at Flushing Meadows, Federer added: “We’ve played each other the last two years, semis last year, final the year before and we’ve seen what a great player he is on hard courts.
“I’m sure it’s going to be a tough match, I’m looking forward to it.”
Djokovic was delighted to have reached the semi-finals for the third year in a row as he moved past 10th seed Fernando Verdasco in four sets.
“It feels great,” Djokovic said of his achievement. “I haven’t done that (reach semis) in the past three grand slams this year, so mentally it was very important for me to overcome this challenge.”