Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Wimbledon 2018: Rafael Nadal in stands, Novak Djokovic incensed during wins

Wimbledon 2018: Rafael Nadal in stands, Novak Djokovic incensed during wins

That blip was enough for Nadal, chasing an 18th Grand Slam title, to surrender his first set of the championships.

Nadal advances to his first Wimbledon semifinal since 2011.

"There is no one other match in the history of tennis that has been played more than our match".

While Trump would have been a distraction in the royal box - especially if the wind were to cut through his hair spray - the 15,000 sunbathers on Centre Court instead have a double bill of Isner and Anderson at 1pm, followed by the main course, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Strokes of Genius is a world-class documentary capturing the historic 13-year rivalry between tennis icons Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. He started 2018 in politician's mode, arguing for a new union to represent the interests of male tennis players.

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When Djokovic returned at the two big American hard-court tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami, he was oddly flat and listless.

"But is impossible to win always, even for him (Federer)".

And he served it out to book a tie with three-time champion Djokovic.

He showed signs of recovering at the French Open before a shock loss in the quarter-finals against unseeded Italian Marco Cecchinato, then reached the Queen's final where more mental fragility proved his undoing against Marin Cilic. I'm really happy for you. "Hopefully I can maintain that".

"It's my goal is to try to play very well".

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A few hours earlier, however, it looked as if it was going to be 32-year-old Nadal who would end up down and out. Djokovic won a routine four-setter against Japan's Kei Nishikori in two hours and 38 minutes, while Nadal battled for just under five hours to somehow get past Juan Martin del Potro in a five-set thriller.

It was a breathless Wimbledon contest that kept on giving for nearly five hours - diving volleys, ferocious forehands, blazing backhands and even acrobatic tumbles - and at the end of it all Rafael Nadal was the one left standing on Wednesday. Playing Djokovic was the sternest test and he came through a dramatic five-setter dubbed the greatest clay-court match of all-time by Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe.

A sprightly Nadal went on the front foot to turn the tide in the fourth, Del Potro twice hitting the deck as he was broken to love to trail 3-2 and while he saved two set points behind his powerful serve, the 11-time French Open champion was jumping for joy after a searing backhand victor made sure the match would go all the way.

But, for all that Isner is on a high, literally and figuratively, Anderson's win over Federer could be the key to this match.

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