In an epic marathon match on Wimbledonâ€™s Centre Court, top seed Roger Federer of Switzerland rallied to defeat Argentinaâ€™s Juan Martin del Potro 3-6, 7-6(6), 19-17 to advance to finals of the Olympic Menâ€™s singles with a chance to win the gold medal.
The four-hour and 26 minute match broke the record for the longest men’s three-set match in the Open Era
The previous longest menâ€™s three-set singles match was in the semifinals at 2009 Madrid, in which Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(9) in 4 hours 3 minutes.
Federer may have come into the match holding a 12-2 head-to-head record against Del Potro, but the Argentine broke Federer in the eighth game and held to secure the first set 6-3.
Very little separated Del Potro and Federer in the second set, which went to a tiebreak, with Federer taking it 7-5.
In the third set both men had chances to break, with Federer capitalizing in the 19th game to take a 10-9 lead to serve for the match. Del Potro would not give up, breaking Federer at love to even the match again.
Both men held serve and at 14-14, Federer appeared to have the upper hand getting to love-40 of Del Potroâ€™s serve. It was not to be. The Argentine came back to hold.
Both men held for the next six games until Federer broke for at 18-17 lead. This second time serving for the match Federer made no mistakes. Del Potro hit a backhand volley into the set to end the match.
Federer hit 24 aces, won six more point than Del Potro (186:180) and hit 64 winners versus 51 for Del Potro.
The 17-time major champion who has never won a singles medal in three previous Olympics has guaranteed himself at least the silver medal. In fact he has guaranteed Swirzerlandâ€™s first medal in the 2012 Olympics.
Federer will play the winner of the Andy Murray â€“ Novak Djokovic semifinal for the Olympic gold medal.