Thursday, 15 November, 2018

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

Del Potro sets up quarter-final showdown with Nadal Juan Martin Del Potro scraps past Simon to set up Nadal clash
Frederick Owens | 12 July, 2018, 12:44

Rafael Nadal reacts after beating Juan Martin del Potro in five sets.

Del Potro was straining to stay in touch in almost every point, and his gambling instincts drove him to explore the white lines.

Simon had an early break in the fourth set, but Del Potro hit back and was on the verge of victory until the Frenchman saved four match points to take it to another tie-break.

"Emotional match for both of us", said Nadal, who is ranked No. 1 and seeded No. 2 and won two of his 17 major championships at Wimbledon. The hard-serving American beat Milos Raonic of Canada 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3 to set up a meeting with Federer's conqueror Kevin Anderson in the last four.

"Rafa is a fighter", del Potro said. Nadal took him to deuce but couldn't nail the break and they went to the shootout, where, against all likelihood, Nadal double-faulted on set point.

"The last set had a little bit of everything, great points, great rallies, he was hitting insane with his forehands".

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The world number one had lost only nine points on serve when, just before the ninth game of the second set, the result of Federer's shock demise was flashed up on the giant on-court scoreboard. He saved another break point to inch closer to the semi-final, but just couldn't put Del Potroaway during a terrific and gruelling fifth set.

After two-and-a-half hours, Nadal and Del Potro were still a set-all and three-all.

The crowd were on their feet when Del Potro took off to end a magnificent point with a diving volley in a marathon third game, yet Nadal got the break with a sublime cross-court victor in the next service game.

Nadal caught Del Potro napping in the fifth game of the fourth set, breaking him to love to lead 3-2.

A tired Del Potro, a semi-finalist in 2013, finished with 33 aces and 77 winners but even those impressive statistics were not enough.

That mishap could not stop Nadal from reaching his sixth Wimbledon semi-final and he celebrated the moment by raising both arms up into the skies after four hours and 48 minutes of thrilling action. Only negative thing is I played nearly five hours, and I had the chance maybe to play less winning that second set.

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