MELBOURNE PARK, Australia â€“ Roger Federer joined the exclusive 1000 matches played club with his 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win over Juan Martin Del Potro in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. Â This will mark the ninth consecutive year that Federer has advanced to the Australian Open semifinals. The Swiss joins the ranks of Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Guillermo Vilas, Andre Agassi, Stephan Edberg, Illie Nastase and John McEnroe who have played in 1000 matches or more.
On achieving the milestome, Federer said, â€œWell, 1000 matches, not 1000 wins.Â Big difference.
â€œI wish it was 1000 wins, but I’m happy with 1000 matches in total, too.Â It’s nice to win this one.Â I mean, eventually I will forget which was one was my 1000th match and someone will remind me again.
I do not remember my 500, and that was the US Open final against Agassi.Â No bigger matches than those ones.
â€œIt’s a big milestone, I agree.Â It’s a lot of matches and a lot tennis.Â Either I have been around for a long time or I’m extremely fit.Â You decide which way you want to describe it.Â I don’t know.Â But I’m happy.â€
â€œWe have played some big matches against each other,â€ Federer said of his match with Del Potro.Â â€œSo just knowing how well he’s been playing as of late, I was just hoping that I would get off a good start.Â But I was able to mix it up well and control the ball, and right away sort of felt confident, which then sort of helped me to use all aspects of my game.
â€œThen it got tough with the shadow creeping in, and I knew that was going to happen rather sooner than later just because the matches before me took some time.Â I knew it was going to happen eventually.Â That’s why the second set, serving out the second set was key for me.Â You know, get through that tough patch, and then in the third it was a bit more free swinging for me.
The almost two hour match saw Federer hit 38 winners with an 89% first serve percentage.
For the first time since 2005, Federer is on the same side of the draw at a major as Rafael Nadal. Federer will face the winner of the Nadal-Tomas Berdych quarterfinal on Tuesday nightÂ in the semis for a spot in the Australian Open final.