Federer marks 1000th match with victory

Updated: 2012-01-25 10:43


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Federer marks 1000th match with victory 

Roger Federer of Switzerland looks on during a break in play against Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina in their men's singles quarter-finals match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 24, 2012.  [Photo/Xinhua]

MELBOURNE - Juan Martin Del Potro caused no trouble to Roger Federer's 1000th professional match and the Swiss won his 31th consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals here on Tuesday to reach the semifinals at 2012 Australian Open.

"Well, 1000 matches, not 1000 wins. Big differences," said Federer. "I wish it was 1000 wins, but I'm happy with 1000 matches in total, too. It's nice to win this one."

Facing Del Potro, one of the only two men who've beaten him in a Grand Slam final, Federer, the No.3 seed and four-time winner, eased past the Argentine 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in three straight sets.

Federer may meet the other one in the semifinal - No.2 seed Rafael Nadal. Nadal is going to play against Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic in Tuesday's another quarterfinal.

Del Potro, who beat Federer to win his only Grand Slam title at 2010 U.S. Open, made a slow start to the contest as Federer reeled off the opening three games. Del Potro quickly awakened from his slumber, shoring up his serve and wresting his way back to 4-4. But his double fault then handed Federer the break he needed to close out the opening set.

Moving around the court with fluidity and freedom, Federer seemed to be in the right position for every ball and was finding lines with both forehands and backhands. Another early break put him in the driving position, and the 16-time major champion increasingly came to the net to finish off points as Del Potro failed to find an answer for his troubles.

An easier third-set just allowed Federer to reach his ninth successive Australian Open semifinals.

"I'm very happy. It was a great match," said Federer, who has won four of his 16 majors on Rod Laver Arena. "It was a high quality match and Juan Martin is a wonderful player and I know how hard he can hit the ball."