Published: Sun, July 15, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Juan Martin Del Potro scraps past Simon to set up Nadal clash

Juan Martin Del Potro scraps past Simon to set up Nadal clash

I wanted to stay there for all night long.

To claim Djokovic is back to his 12-time Grand Slam winning best would be a tad premature, but the 31-year-old Serb is getting closer to it. The 12-time Grand Slam champion then raised his level in the fourth set and finished with a victor into the corner to book his place in the semi-finals on Friday.

"Friday is another important match against an opponent who is one of the most hard ones that you can face".

"It´s not good for me".

It has already been hailed as another Wimbledon classic and it always seems a shame that one of these two phenomenal talents must leave the world's greatest tennis showcase. So will be a big challenge to me. The 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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Nadal started strong on serve to power his way into a 3-2 lead during the opening set. "Doesn't matter if he miss or not", said Del Potro.

The final set lasted 90 minutes, and it was captivating. "I'm just disappointed now".

Great match, an emotional match for both of us and for the fans, too. In fact, the eight-time champion had not been broken at this year's championships until Anderson finally won a returning game, ending a run of 85 consecutive holds. He had one more chance but again the Argentinian sent down a big serve and then, when his own chance came, Del Potro drilled a bullet forehand off the top of the net and onto the sideline.

Del Potro threw everything he could at Nadal in a pulsating match and even conjured the shot of the tournament as he acrobatically dived to his right to hit a fizzing forehand volley that ended a spellbinding 23-shot rally.

Given the fact he withdrew from a pre-Wimbledon event with a groin concern and called the trainer during his match with Simon, Del Potro's fitness could be a factor.

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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.

Having played three of his matches away from Centre Court, Djokovic asked after his fourth-round win over Karen Khachanov that his meeting with 24th-seeded Nishikori be played in the main stadium.

He has played twice on the 11,000-capacity Court One this year, and once on the 4,000-seater court two for his second-round clash against Horacio Zeballos.

"Everybody knows the favourites for the title are Roger and Rafa", added Del Potro. He only needed one, though, breaking to love with a ferocious forehand.

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