Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Rafael Nadal edges Juan Martin del Porto in Wimbledon quarterfinals

Juan Martin del Potro Del Potro reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2013
Cassandra Castillo | 13 July, 2018, 00:32

The Spaniard proved it with a daring chase-down attempt during his win over Juan Martin del Potro overnight, climbing into the stands after trying to reach a ball.

Every single set was hard-earned, with Nadal taking the first 7-5 before Del Potro evened things up on a tiebreak in the second.

The victor will play either John Isner or Kevin Anderson in Sunday's final. "You know that you can't win against him if you don't play very well". If I want to beat him, I have to come to the net very often and play hard with my forehands, with my backhands, and try to take all the chances'.

Incidently, the Nadal versus Del Potro match lasted exactly the same length as Rafa's win against Roger Federer in the 2008 final.

They have met on 51 previous occasions, but not at this stage of a Slam since the 2014 French Open semi-finals.

But the 31-year-old has been rejuvenated at Wimbledon, sweeping into the semi-finals for the eighth time.

The mental strength, arguably the characteristic that propelled him to world No 1 for the first time in 2011 and kept him at the top of the game for five years is back.

Anderson made his breakthrough last September by reaching the US Open final, where he lost to Nadal.

"In some ways he deserves victory too", a gasping Nadal said after setting up a blockbuster semi-final with Novak Djokovic. Yeah, honestly it's not easy playing Novak because I don't have good records.

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Djokovic will need all that belief, however, as he has not faced anything yet at Wimbledon of the level of Nadal.

Like Federer and Anderson, Nadal and del Potro Nadal slugged it out for more than four pulsating hours before Spain's 17-times major victor finally landed the knockout punch.

Nadal lost only eight points behind his serve in the opening set, but Del Potro needed only one break point to take a 5-4 lead in the second.

Opportunity knocks for both men here with a chance at a first Wimbledon final.

Federer suffers shock Wimbledon quarter-final loss to Anderson The two-time Wimbledon champion will face Djokovic, a three-time victor at the All England Club, for a place in Sunday's final.

A courageous effort from Isner but it is Anderson who will reach the final.

Anderson is the first South African to make the last-four since Kevin Curren in 1983.

Isner, 33, will be playing in his first major semi-final and is bidding to become the first American man to reach a Slam final since Andy Roddick finished Wimbledon runner-up in 2009.

"I'm like, "You don't have to be sorry".

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