Sports

Del Potro and Nadal share a hug after their Wimbledon epic

Del Potro and Nadal share a hug after their Wimbledon epic

It was a case of down but definitely not out as a Rafael Nadal kept fighting to make it to the Wimbledon semi-finals with a pulsating 7-5 6-7 (7) 4-6 6-4 6-4 over Juan Martin del Potro.

Juan Martin del Potro had to fight hard to beat France's Gilles Simon.

"In the last set there was a little of everything, great points, great rallies, he was hitting insane with his forehands".

"I will try to hold my service games most of the time. It's a day to be happy".

"It will be a different match that we played in Paris a few weeks ago", Del Potro said.

"Rafa is a fighter", del Potro said.

Neither player gave anything away on serve in a tight third set, but an errant Nadal backhand gave the Argentinian three set points.

"Rafa is a fighter". While Anderson has lost five straight matches to Isner, two of them went to final-set tiebreakers, and the last time they faced off was in 2015, well before Anderson revamped his game and his mindset and cracked the Top 10.

"I am not that good to have the chance to think about all the things going on outside".

"I´m glad to play in this level against the No. 1 in the world".

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"It's starting to come together for me".

After a hectic clay-court season where he won the Monte Carlo, Rome and French Open titles, Nadal made a decision to go into Wimbledon without playing a warm-up event on grass for the second year running.

Djokovic came close to beating Nadal for the first time on clay, only to see the Spaniard save three match points before winning one of the greatest and - at four hours and two minutes - longest three-set matches in history.

It was not as if Nadal was playing badly.

It was as if that out-of-the-blue news threw the Spaniard off his stride and he fluffed his lines to drop his serve.

One of those was on a double fault in the tiebreak and the giant Argentine pounced to level the tie.

"It feels nice to be back in the last four of a Grand Slam, I didn't experience that for a while", he said.

In charge at a set up, Rafael Nadal took his seat at the change of ends during his second set, when gasps were let out by the Centre Court crowd.

One such chase left Nadal toppling into the arms of a stunned woman sitting in the front row as he failed to put on the breaks as he dashed after a Del Potro smash.

Anderson became the first South African in the Wimbledon semi-finals since Kevin Curren in 1983 and just the sixth in history. Historically, one dominates for a period of time, until the other finally wins an important match, shifts the psychological balance, and begins a run of his own.