Mikhail Youzhny

Rafael Nadal to face Juan Martin del Potro — not Roger Federer — in U.S. Open semis

Rafael Nadal to face Juan Martin del Potro — not Roger Federer — in U.S. Open semis

Maybe a matchup between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal at the U.S. Open just isn’t meant to be.

Their splendid rivalry began in 2004 and has played out 37 times around the world but has never included a meeting at Flushing Meadows. That seemed destined to change when they were placed in the same half of the draw this year, Nadal as the No. 1 seed and Federer at No. 3, and both kept the possibility alive by overcoming early stumbles to reach the quarterfinals. Nadal advanced to the semifinals Wednesday afternoon by losing only five games in dismissing Russian teenager Andrey Rublev. Federer, admittedly edgy and unsure he had the physical and mental resources to win, fell short of...

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