US Open round-up from day six

In the first two games, he spent nearly 7 hours on the court, and that has to leave some trace on the body of the 36-year-old player.

Swiss Federer, chasing a record-extending 20th grand slam title, takes on Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro, the man who beat him in the 2009 final in NY.

Argentina 24th seed Del Potro claimed a heroic 1-6, 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/1), 6-4 victory over the sixth-seeded Austrian on a rocking Grandstand court, describing it as night he would remember forever.

"I played one of the epic matches of my career here at the US Open, which is my favourite tournament, in front of a great crowd", Del Potro said afterwards.

Federer, who beat German Philipp Kohlschreiber in comfortable fashion to reach the last eight, and Del Potro have not played at Flushing Meadows since that final eight years ago. "Is going to be interesting match for play, after eight years again in the central court", Del Potro said. If del Potro can somehow make his way to the final, the 28-year-old could have a real shot at his second career major.

"It probably feels like one of those matches I would like to play over again", added Federer, referring to the 2009 final. I think we're both looking forward to it. "I started seeing the crowd and took the energy from the fans, and that's what I did in the end, keep fighting".

While Thiem has a tendency to be a little inconsistent at times, on his day, he has some of the best groundstrokes on the ATP circuit. He said: 'I feel exhausted.

The 2009 US Open champion won the match in the fifth set when Thiem double faulted on match point. "My backhand is not good enough yet, but I'm still trying, and I think people like that".

Del Potro admitted he was ready to quit when it seemed Thiem would win in a rout, but as his will faded, the crowd lifted him onward.

"Last year I changed all the team completely", Rublev said of the changes he's made from 2016.

Thiem, the world No 8, had been utterly dominant in the first two sets, but in the third Del Potro came roaring back.

"I$3 just needed a bit of a rub on my back, my bottom, and I didn't want to do it on court", Federer joked in his on-court interview with Brad Gilbert. "I was sick the last two days".

Unfortunately, tennis isn't boxing, where you know the identity of your next opponent months in advance.

Del Potro hammered 14 aces and struck 38 winners to just 19 for Bautista Agut, and he dictated play from start to finish, converting 5 of 13 break points and closing his victory in a tidy two hours and ten minutes.

Brandon: Rublev has had a dream run, dispatching the likes of Dimitrov and Goffin both in straight sets, however he will face his toughest challenge yet against Nadal, a two-time US Open champion.

When a reporter relayed to del Potro that Federer had spoken glowingly about him, del Potro responded: "Well, of course, I admire him, too".

  • Leroy Wright