Sports

Rafael Nadal edges del Potro to set Novak Djokovic clash — ATP Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal edges del Potro to set Novak Djokovic clash — ATP Wimbledon

World number one Rafael Nadal set-up a mouthwatering Wimbledon semi-final against old rival Novak Djokovic after battling back to beat Juan Martin del Potro in a Centre Court thriller on Wednesday.

Del Potro finished with 77 winners to Nadal's 67 but failed to convert any of his five break points in the fifth set. The final set there were some wonderful points.

A magnificent sliced backhand victor put the two-time Wimbledon champion a set away from the quarter-finals, but a rare unforced error from Nadal handed Vesely a first break.

In the next set, Del Potro broke and served for the set at 5-4, but double-faulted and Nadal clinched the break-back with a forehand victor down the line for the second set to be decided by a tiebreaker. A former champion saved more strength for the final set, breaking del Potro in game five and saving two break points in the following game to move 4-2 up and cement his break.

After the victory, Nadal said: 'He played well. And so it proved in a match that got better the longer it went as he ground out a 7-5, 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win in four hours and 47 minutes, the longest of the tournament.

"Rafa is a fighter".

The fifth seed had led by two sets on Monday but Simon grabbed the third set before fading light ended play.

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Del Potro put both hands on his head.

Nadal slipped mid-court twice in the fifth game, but stayed upright to break with a cracking angled backhand. Eventually, things went to a tiebreak Del Potro won to capture the set.

"It was a very emotional match. great quality tennis, especially in the last set there were some incredible points".

Anderson, who reached his first Grand Slam final at the 2017 U.S. Open, had lost in the fourth round at Wimbledon on three previous occasions.

Isner's 41 attempts to make a semifinal at a major is the second most in the 50-year professional era, behind Sam Querrey, who made the last four at Wimbledon last year with his 42nd try.

Simon saved a fourth match point when he threw the kitchen sink at a forehand return and he eventually took his fourth break point to level at 5-5.


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