Federer, Nadal have Chance to Aim for Dream US Open Final


New York, Sep 13: Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal could brighten up what has been a dreary few days at the US Open if both can ignore the scheduling and weather crisis that have again wrecked the programme at the last of the 2009 majors.

Federer, on the march towards a sixth straight title at the event where he has not lost since 2003, will play Novak Djokovic Sunday, more than three days after both men moved through into the final four.

By contrast, Nadal will have had only 24 hours of rest when he faces Argentine Juan Del Potro.

Nadal Saturday took advantage of a tiny dry window, spending 34 minutes in finishing up a quarter-final against Chile's Fernando Gonzalez in three sets before more rain arrived to wreck the afternoon schedule.

The men's final is now organised for Monday evening for the second year running at the only Grand Slam that seems to be balking at considering installing a roof over a showcourt.

Top seed Federer has beaten Djokovic at the last two editions at Flushing Meadows, the 2007 final and in the semis a year ago. The Serb also lost to the Swiss in the Cincinnati title match three weeks back.

In addition to working for a sixth consecutive trophy at the venue, Federer will be playing in his 22nd straight Grand Slam semi-final, another men's record that looks to be untouchable.

"He's done well against me in the past, but I beat him in Cincinnati and I hope I can build on that and try to beat him again here," Federer said of fourth seed Djokovic.

Federer holds an 8-4 lead in the series, with the pair split 3-3 over the last two seasons.

"Reaching the semis at all four Slams this season just shows how lucky I've been that I could stay healthy," said Federer, neglecting to mention that he also carried those semi-final showings forward to titles at the French Open and Wimbledon.

"I always create opportunities, and here again I am in the semis and have a chance to hopefully win the tournament again."

Nadal, whose day off Friday due to rain may have helped in healing the abdominal muscle pull he's been carrying, is disheartened about scheduling at the event.

Should the four-time French Open winner manage to get to the final and perhaps win his first title at the tournament, he would have to play over three straight days.

Nadal is competing in only his third event since late May, when he was told to rest injured knees by doctors.

"I'm more fresh than last year, 100 percent sure," said the Spaniard, who played New York a year ago after winning Olympic gold.

"We will see how I am physically (against Del Potro). But last year I was totally destroyed mentally. Mentally this year I am perfect."

"I think he's a very complete player," Nadal said of his Argentine opposition. "In the past, he didn't serve like he is now. He has an unbelievable serve right now and from the baseline, he is very solid."

Nadal stands 4-2 in the series but has twice lost to the Argentine this season. "I must play my best tennis if I want to have a chance to win. And that's what I hope to do."


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Title: Federer, Nadal have Chance to Aim for Dream US Open Final

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