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When Roger Federer defeated Juan Martin del Potro in his 1000th ATP match

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The 16-year-old Roger Federer played his first ATP match in Gstaad in July 1998, just a few days after conquering the junior Wimbledon. Thirteen and a half years and 16 Major titles later, the Swiss maestro embraced his 1000th ATP match on January 24, 2012, against Juan Martin del Potro in the Australian Open quarter-final.

Roger became the 11th player in the Open era with 1000 ATP matches and celebrated the milestone in style following a dominant 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 triumph over the Argentine in an hour and 59 minutes. Federer secured the 814th ATP win (186 defeats) after getting broken once from six opportunities offered to del Potro.

The Swiss took 45% of the return points and converted them into five breaks from eight chances, playing better and better as the encounter progressed to set the semi-final clash against Rafael Nadal.

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Roger Federer played his 1000th ATP match at the 2012 Australian Open.
Federer dropped only five points behind the first serve and played well when it mattered the most to mount the pressure on the other side.

Juan Martin could not deliver similar numbers behind the initial shot, losing 44% of the points and struggling on the first and second serve to get broken five times from eight opportunities offered to Roger. The Swiss held at 15 in the opening game with a service winner and moved ahead in the second when the Argentine netted an easy smash.

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A forehand drive-volley winner pushed Federer 3-0 up after nine minutes. He squandered an opportunity to increase his lead before Juan Martin broke back in game seven to reduce the deficit. Roger held at 15 in game nine with a beautiful lob, and the set was in his hands after a break at 15 a few minutes later when Juan Martin hit a double fault.

A backhand down the line winner in the second set’s game four pushed Federer ahead, and he saved break points at 5-3 to close the set with a service winner and build a massive advantage. At the start of the third set, a return winner gave Roger an even more significant advantage, and he marched towards the finish line thanks to another break at 4-2 when his backhand overpowered the rival’s strokes.

Serving for the victory in game eight, the Swiss blasted a backhand down the line winner to wrap up the triumph and book the semi-final clash with Rafael Nadal.

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