Friday, 16 November, 2018

Nadal defeats Del Potro in five sets to reach Wimbledon final four

Rafael Nadal vs Jiri Vesely Wimbledon 2018 live score updates Nadal is looking to book his place in the quarter-finals Credit Getty Images
Rita Gibson | 12 July, 2018, 12:44

Del Potro refused to surrender, breaking back in game 10 to level the score at 5-5 and he saved four set points in the tie break, climbing back from 3-6 down to steal the set 9-7 and make a huge roar of relief, ready to fight until the very last point.

Nadal has 17 while Djokovic has stalled on 12 since completing the career Grand Slam at Roland Garros in 2016.

But Nadal was first to break in the deciding set and he built a 5-3 advantage with a looped forehand victor before confirming his final four place with a volley after four hours and 48 minutes.

Del Potro trailed 1-3 but at 5-5 he fired down a swinging ace to reach match point number five and this time Simon cracked, netting a backhand to the relief of the Argetine who roared his approval.

After claiming the first set by a single break, Nadal lost the next two by tight margins as Del Potro stole the show on Centre Court with acrobatic shot-making and a total of 33 aces behind his serve.

Now Nadal will face longtime rival Novak Djokovic in the semifinals Friday. Sorry to Juan Martin, he's an incredible opponent and unbelievable player.

"He deserved to win today".

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

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.

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. I tried to resist and maintain focus.

Nadal broke for 3-2 but had to save break points in the sixth and eighth games before securing a memorable victory.

Nadal soon returned the favour with a break of his own, before another hold left Del Potro rattled. Del Potro made him pay as he pounced on his first chance to raise the prospect of another upset on day nine.

"I think I won the best point of the match", the Argentine said with a rueful smile after being beaten by Nadal for the 11th time in 16 meetings.

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