Juan Martin del Potro burst his way into the U.S. Open semifinals on Tuesday, hitting 49 winners and withstanding 67 from 11th seeded American John Isner in a 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-2 victory inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“I’m so happy to reach another semifinals in my favorite tournament,” del Potro told the New York crowd. “It was like an epic match. We both felt tired in the end, we both fight the whole match. I think I survive with my serve in the important moments in the match.”
It was a highly anticipated match coming in, with two of the biggest men on tour squaring off on the biggest stage in tennis. The heat would take its toll on both players, and del Potro was just a bit better in the end, committing 38 less unforced errors over the course of the match to advance.
“I think I play a smart game today. I saw John a little bit tired also. That gives me a little bit more energy to keep trying,” said del Potro. “I played a good match. I don’t know if I’m playing my best tennis ever, but I’m feeling good. I reach another semifinals in this Grand Slam, which means something big to me. I’m very happy for that.”
“I think all in all, he probably handled it a little better,” said Isner, who was back in the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open for the first time in seven years. “It definitely is tough conditions, but I wish I could have done a little bit better out there. It just wasn’t to be.”
He awaits the winner of defending champion and top seed Rafael Nadal and ninth-seed Dominic Thiem.