Nadal holds his nerve to see off ‘amaz­ing’ Del Potro

Sport360 - - Wimbledon - By Staff Re­porter b @ Sport360 * edi­to­rial@sport360.com

World num­ber one Rafael Nadal set-up a mouth­wa­ter­ing Wimbledon semi-fi­nal against old ri­val No­vak Djokovic after bat­tling back to beat Juan Martin del Potro in a Cen­tre Court thriller on Wed­nes­day.

Nadal tri­umphed 7-5, 6-7 (7/9), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 after four hours and 48 min­utes to reach his sixth Wimbledon semi-fi­nal and 28th at the ma­jors.

The two-time Wimbledon cham­pion will face Djokovic, a three­time win­ner at the All Eng­land Club, for a place in Sun­day’s fi­nal.

Djokovic leads their epic headto-head ri­valry 26-25.

Vic­tory on Wed­nes­day gave Nadal his 11th win in 16 meet­ings against the fifth seed Del Potro as the Spa­niard stayed on course for an 18th Grand Slam ti­tle.

That am­bi­tion came a lit­tle closer after de­fend­ing cham­pion Roger Fed­erer was knocked out by Kevin Anderson ear­lier in the day.

“I think it was great qual­ity ten­nis and in the fi­nal set there were some amaz­ing points,” said 2008 and 2010 cham­pion Nadal.

“Sorry to Juan Martin, he’s an amaz­ing op­po­nent and player. In some ways he de­serves to win.”

“Any­thing could have hap­pened, so this is a big achieve­ment for me to get to the semi-fi­nals at Wimbledon.

“In the last set there was a lit­tle of ev­ery­thing, great points, great ral­lies, he was hit­ting crazy with his fore­hands. I tried to re­sist and main­tain fo­cus.

“Now is the mo­ment to en­joy and then start to re­cover as it was a tough phys­i­cal bat­tle.”

John Isner will face Kevin Anderson in the Wimbledon semi­fi­nals after the Amer­i­can ninth seed won the bat­tle of the big servers against Mi­los Raonic on Wed­nes­day.

Isner’s 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (9/7), 6-4, 6-3 vic­tory in the quar­ter-fi­nals booked his first ap­pear­ance in the last four at a Grand Slam.

On Fri­day, the 33-year-old will play South African eighth seed Anderson, who shocked de­fend­ing cham­pion Roger Fed­erer in the quar­ter-fi­nals ear­lier on Wed­nes­day.

Isner holds an im­pres­sive 8-3 record against Anderson, win­ning his last five meet­ings with the 32-year-old.

Isner fa­mously played in Wimbledon’s long­est ever match against Ni­co­las Mahut in 2010, and in his 41st Grand Slam ap­pear­ance, the Amer­i­can is fi­nally into the last four at a ma­jor.

Num­ber one: Rafa Nadal.

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