So much for the first U.S. Open matchup between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Federer failed to live up to his end of the bargain.

Hours after Nadal did his part with an easy-as-can be victory to get to the semifinals at Flushing Meadows, Federer was unable to join him for what would have been the most-anticipated showdown of the entire two weeks, wasting chances to take control and missing shots he normally makes in a 7-5, 3-6, 7- 6 (8), 6-4 loss to 2009 champion

Juan Martin del Potro on Wednesday night.

“I had struggled too much throughout the tournament,” Federer said, “to think too far ahead.”

Given that he is 36, and Nadal is 31, perhaps it is time for the tennis world to concede that Roger vs. Rafa at the U.S. Open just will never happen.

This is the sixth occasion when they were a round away from playing in New York, but one or the other lost — including eight years ago, when del Potro beat Nadal in the semifinals, then Federer in the final.

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