Juan Martin Del Potro played wonderful defense-to-offense tennis in the first two sets of his French Open quarterfinal match with Roger Federer, and he took 13 of the first 22 games because of it. But his serve began to spray, and an angry Roger Federer tamped down on the errors, and Federer came back to win, 3-6, 6-7, 6-2, 6-0, 6-3.
Tennis is not big on stats, but the limited numbers available tell you all you need to know about this one:
Winners (First Two Sets): Federer 19, Del Potro 15
Winners (Last Three Sets): Federer 40, Del Potro 18
Unforced Errors (First Two Sets): Federer 28, Del Potro 22
Unforced Errors (Last Three Sets): Del Potro 20, Federer 15
1st Serve Percentage (First Two Sets): Del Potro 61%, Federer 50%
1st Serve Percentage (Last Three Sets): Federer 64%, Del Potro 54%
Federer teed off on Del Potro’s second serve all day, but it didn’t matter until Del Potro started regularly missing his first serve. But Del Potro clearly lost his edge after winning the second-set tie-breaker (we don’t know how much of a role a potentially tweaky knee played yet), and Federer was nearly flawless. As a result, Federer advances to play the winner of the ongoing, epic match between Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilifried Tsonga.
You can see a full French Open scoreboard at SI.com.