Saturday, 21 July, 2018


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

Juan Martin del Potro GETTYJuan Martin del Potro was left gutted to have lost in five sets
Noah Ferguson | 12 July, 2018, 06:53

Juan Martin del Potro set up a Wimbledon quarter-final clash against Rafael Nadal when he downed Gilles Simon of France 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 7-6 (7/5) on Tuesday.

Del Potro finished with 77 winners to Nadal's 67 but could not convert any of his five break points in the fifth set. 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.

Then Del Porto managed to hold serve to love, forcing Nadal to serve out the match, which he did, winning it 6-4 to reach his sixth semi-final.

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.

Victory secured, Nadal climbed over the net and ran over to the baseline to help the distraught Del Potro back to his feet.

After two-and-a-half hours, Nadal had soaked up 19 Del Potro aces and they were still a set-all and three-all, the Argentinian ahead in the serving cycle again and doing his best to grind Nadal into the grass.

Del Potro repelled them both but Rafa held at 15 in the following game, clinching the set 6-4 and sending this incredible encounter into a decider.

"Rafa is a fighter", del Potro said.

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

Soon, Nadal gained the upper hand, shaking off a hard fall onto his back on one point by whipping a cross-court backhand victor on the next to break for a 3-2 lead. A blistering, nearly joyous whipped forehand sealed the set for Nadal and they went to a fifth.

'I am very happy the way that I survived a lot of important points in that fifth set.

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 has yet to be broken at this year's tournament and saved the only break point he faced on Wednesday.

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