Roger Federer has battled past Stan Wawrinka at the Cincinnati Open, doing something he hasn’t done since 2004.
The World No.1 dropped the opening set of his quarter-final clash with his countryman on Saturday, before storming home to win 6-7(7-2), 7-6(8-6), 6-2.
The win puts Federer into his eighth semi-final in Cincinnati, and extends his winning streak at the event to 13-straight matches.
Federer’s career record against his Swiss compatriot is now 21-3.
One step closer to #️⃣8️⃣
Seven-time champ @rogerfederer battles his way back to win all-Swiss battle with Stan Wawrinka 6-7(2) 7-6(6) 6-2 and reach his *EIGHTH* semifinal in Cincinnati. #CincyTennis pic.twitter.com/BIealPfftr
— Western & Southern Open (@CincyTennis) August 18, 2018
It also marks the first time in 14 years that Federer has recorded two victories in the same day.
After rain wreaked havoc on Friday, Federer’s Round of 16 match with Leonardo Mayer was pushed back a day.
The Swiss legend dispatched Mayer 6-1, 7-6(8-6) on Saturday morning, before coming back for his night-cap against Wawrinka.
“It’s been a while since I’ve played two matches in one day. Apparently it was 2004,” Federer told ESPN before his match with Wawrinka.
“I did play a lot of practice twice a day so if I won’t be ready for today, I’ll never be ready.”
Federer’s match against Wawrinka started with a low key atmosphere but developed into a cracking affair when Federer took the second set tiebreak as lightning reverberated near the stadium.
Play was finally halted two points into the third set. Federer was in a different class once the match resumed after a short delay.
While Federer narrowly avoided an early exit, another high seed was sent packing, as number four Juan Martin del Potro fell to diminutive Belgian David Goffin 7-6(5) 7-6(4).
Goffin closed out a tight match with a backhand winner down the baseline.
His reward is a Saturday evening semi-final against Federer, while the other last four clash will match former world number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia against Croatia’s Marin Cilic.
It was a busy day for 10th seeded Djokovic, who came from behind to oust defending champion Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 2-6 6-3 6-4 in the conclusion of a third round match carried over from Thursday.
Only a couple of hours later, Djokovic stopped Milos Raonic 7-5 4-6 6-3, improving his career record to a perfect 9-0 against the Canadian.
“I’m very pleased with my fighting spirit and staying mentally tough to overcome deficits in both matches,” Djokovic said.
“Obviously the match against Dimitrov yesterday didn’t start so well for me. He started tremendously well. We were not the only ones (dealing with interruptions), but it just makes it harder, because you’re warming up, you’re cooling down.
“We went home around 10.30, came back this morning again to play him, and then (had a) couple hours of rest.
“And to go back on the court again against Raonic, who was serving 140-plus miles (per hour) from the first game, that got me going, for sure, from the beginning.”
Former champion Cilic made his way to the semi-finals with a 7-6(5) 3-6 6-4 third-round win over Russia’s Karen Khachanov before toppling Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6(7) 6-4.
Wawrinka beat Marton Fucsovics of Hungary 6-4 6-3 in their third-round match.
Fourth seed Del Potro overcame Australian Nick Kyrgios 7-6(4) 6-7(6) 6-2.
Goffin did not face a break point in defeating sixth seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-2 6-4 in 76 minutes.