New York :Roger Federer defied gusting winds to fire 18 aces and advanced to the US Open semi-finals by defeating Swedish fifth seed Robin Soderling 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 on Wednesday.
Swiss second seed Federer, a 16-time Grand Slam champion seeking his sixth US Open title and seventh consecutive final, will face Serbian third seed Novak Djokovic on Saturday for a berth in Sunday's championship match.
Federer has a 10-5 career record against Djokovic, including victories in the 2007 US Open final and 2008 and 2009 US Open semi-finals.
"Here we go again," Federer said. "He has been playing great. We just played in Toronto. I was lucky to get through that one. He's hungry to make a breakthrough. It's going to be a tough match."
On a wind-whipped night at Arthur Ashe Stadium, Federer was able to fight through the gusts and serve well, connecting on 64 percent of first serves and hitting 36 winners, 20 more than Soderling, who struggled with his serve.
"Tough conditions," Federer said. "I've practiced my serve a whole lot my whole career. If I can't serve in the wind I've got a problem. You can wake me up at 2 or 4 in the morning I can still hit serves."
Soderling, ousted by Federer in a quarter-final last year as well, has never reached a US Open semi-final.
Federer had won all 12 career matches against Soderling before losing to the Swede in this year's French Open quarter-finals, snapping an amazing run into 23 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals by the Swiss superstar.
But foiling Federer on the red clay of Paris is one thing and denying him on the Flushing Meadows hardcourts where he has dominated for years is quite another, as Soderling found out to his dismay.
Federer saved three break points in the second game of the match and another in the sixth before taking advantage of his only break chance of the first set, landing a forehand drop volley winner in the seventh game to claim the set.
A double fault by Soderling handed Federer a break and a 2-1 lead in the second set. But after an exchange of ends gave him a wind advantage, the Swede smacked a backhand winner in the next game to pull level.
Soderling had an overhead smash to hold at love in the fifth game but netted it and dropped the next four points as well, the last on a Federer forehand winner for the break.
Federer then held at love for a 4-2 advantage on his way to taking the set.
In the third set, Soderling broke Federer in the eighth game and served to force a fourth set, but was broken back by Federer.
In the 11th game, Federer dropped a slice lob into the wind that Soderling blasted long and when the Swede sent another forehand long, Federer had two break points.
Federer capitalized when Soderling hit a backhand wide to surrender the break and held serve at love in the final game, hitting an ace on match point to advance after one hour 56 minutes.