Del Potro reaches semis, awaits opponent

Friday, September 11, 2009

NEW YORK -- Juan Martin del Potro was aching for a second crack at a Grand Slam semifinal, a second chance to prove he has what it takes to win at that stage.

By early Thursday evening, he knew he'd get that opportunity at the U.S. Open, thanks to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 quarterfinal victory over 16th-seeded Marin Cilic.

What the sixth-seeded del Potro still did not know by the end of the night, however, as rain washed over Flushing Meadows: The opponent he will have to beat to reach his first Grand Slam final.

That's because the quarterfinal between six-time major champion Rafael Nadal and 2007 Australian Open runner-up Fernando Gonzalez was postponed by showers during the second set.

The first rain delay, of about 75 minutes, came at 2-2 in the second set, after Nadal won the opening set in a tiebreaker. The second interruption came at about 10:20 p.m., with Nadal holding a 3-2 lead in the second-set tiebreaker.

At midnight, tournament officials suspended play for the night.

And leaving del Potro still waiting.

The breaks might have been helpful to Nadal, who called for a trainer after the first set.

-- Associated Press

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