Big three set for showdown in battle for Olympic tennis gold

Roger Federer celebrates his straight sets victory over John Isner in the Olympic men's singles quarterfinals.

Story highlights

  • Roger Federer remains on course for career golden slam
  • Wimbledon champion beats John Isner in straight sets in quarterfinals
  • Swiss maestro will play Juan Martin del Potro in last four
  • Andy Murray to face Novak Djokovic in other semifinal

Roger Federer remained on course to complete a career golden grand slam after brushing aside John Isner of the United States in the quarterfinals Thursday.

Federer, desperate to add Olympic singles gold to his 17 grand slam titles, struggled to cope with the giant Isner's service but still emerged as a 6-4 7-6 winner on Centre Court.

A break in the 10th game of the first set gave the Swiss maestro the early advantage, but he was pushed all the way in the second.

It went to a tiebreak where a fortuitous net cord for Federer gave the 17-time grand slam champion his passage to the last four.

He will now face Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina after the former U.S. Open champion beat Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-4 7-6.

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Only Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal have achieved the feat of claiming a full set of grand slam titles and backed it it with Olympic gold in the singles.

Federer beat Britain's Andy Murray to win the Wimbledon crown last month and return to top spot in the world rankings.

They could be set to meet again after Murray kept home hopes alive with a 6-4 6-1 dismissal of Spain's Nicolas Almagro in their quarterfinal clash.

The Scot, roared on by a partisan home crowd on Centre Court, was never seriously troubled but will have to get past Serbia's Novak Djokovic to get his chance of golden revenge.

Djokovic, who has never lost to Murray in a grand slam, brushed aside Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6-1 7-5 to earn his last four place as he bids for a first Olympic singles gold.