October 3, Tokyo, Japan - Juan Martin Del Potro advanced to the semifinals on Friday, day five of the AIG Japan Open Tennis championship 2008, leaving top-seeded David Ferrer in the dust. The 20-year-old Del Potro maintained his play all throughout the first set never facing a single break point, although he started to encounter some minor trouble in the third game of the second set. Ferrer was knocked out of the Open in the eight game of the final set when Del Potro shot the crosscourt forehand winner on match point.
This is the first time that Del Potro has won a match against 5th seeded Ferrer. Del Potro’s defeat of Ferrer officially ended the Spanish player’s chance for a repeat match at the ATP event. Despite the win, Del Potro acknowledged Ferrer’s tough play, saying, “It was a very tough match against one of the best players in the world. He won here last year and has been playing well.”
Del Potro, who captured his maiden title in July, is slated to play against 4th seeded French player Richard Gasquet in the semifinals. Gasquet had earlier defeated 2003 champion Rainer Schuettler of Germany with a score of 6-3, 6-2.