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Page last updated at 03:38 GMT, Thursday, 9 September 2010 04:38 UK

Roger Federer beats Robin Soderling to reach US semis

US Open, Flushing Meadows
Dates: 30 August - 12 September Start time: 1600 BST
Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles; updates on BBC Radio 5 live; live on Sky Sports

Roger Federer
Federer is looking to win his sixth US Open title in seven years

By Piers Newbery

Five-time champion Roger Federer produced a stunning display to beat fifth seed Robin Soderling and reach the semi-finals of the US Open.

The Swiss, 29, came through 6-4 6-4 7-5 in the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium as both men defied windy conditions in a high-quality match.

"It was tough conditions to play in," Federer admitted afterwards.

He goes on to face Novak Djokovic after the Serbian earlier beat Gael Monfils 7-6 (7-2) 6-1 6-2.

The second and fifth seeds came out onto Arthur Ashe Stadium to face the same gale force winds that had disrupted the day's earlier matches, but they produced a quality of play that belied the conditions.

"I see it as a challenge and I see it as an opportunity to play differently," Federer said afterwards. "It's not easy, you know. It's cold, everywhere it's blowing. You feel like it's blowing through your ears and into your eyes.

"But I think I used to dislike it so much that I'm on the other side now. I was able to turn it around and kind of take enjoyment out of playing in the wind, actually."

He's a good wind player. He moves really well. He's always in the right place

Robin Soderling

Federer was expected to face his first serious test of the tournament against the man who beat him at the French Open, and it was Soderling who had the early chances.

Three break points came and went in game two and another in game six, each time Federer finding a first serve when it mattered, and while both players were hitting well from the baseline it was the Swiss who was making the winners.

That proved decisive in game seven when the 16-time Grand Slam champion earned his first break point and duly converted with an absolutely magical forehand drop shot.

With his serve working at its fluent best, Federer quickly closed out the set and moved clear early in the second when Soderling cracked under the pressure and double-faulted at break point in game three.

It was to the Swede's credit that he recovered the deficit immediately with a backhand arrowed down the line, but a third successive break followed when he let a 40-0 lead slip as Federer fired a forehand past him at the net.

That was enough for the world number two to take the second set, such was his dominance on serve, and a straight-sets win seemed inevitable as the third set began with neither man able to fashion a break point.

606: DEBATE

When it came, it was a surprise that Soderling was the man to get the breakthrough, but Federer missed a mid-court forehand to put the Swede 5-3 ahead and within sight of a fourth set.

Soderling's attempt to close out the third went horribly wrong, however, with three successive forehand errors giving Federer the break straight back and the Swiss reeled off four the last four games to seal victory with successive aces after one hour 56 minutes.

"He's a good wind player," Soderling admitted. "He moves really well. He's always in the right place."

And Federer added: "I think he definitely had more problems on the serve. Now, from the baseline, look, I also shanked some balls and I also mistimed a few and misread a few, like we all did today.

"But I think the serve was today the biggest key, because obviously he's very famous for serving extremely accurate, extremely hard, over a long period of time. That's what makes him so hard to beat really. That wasn't the case today.

"He struggled to get the pace, the accuracy going, until midway through the third set when I think he started to hit it a bit better. Then it was almost too late, really."

Federer will now face Djokovic for the fourth year in a row, having beaten the Serb in the 2007 final and in the semi-finals for the past two years.

"He's obviously looking for that big breakthrough here in the Open, so it's going to be a tough one," said the Swiss.



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Djokovic beats below-par Monfils
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US Open day 10 photos
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US Open quotes - day 10
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Order of play
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Men's singles latest
21 May 10 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis


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