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Nadal edges del Potro in 5-set Wimbledon thriller

13 July, 2018, 07:49 | Author: Candice Daniels

Sorry to Juan Martin, he's an incredible opponent and unbelievable player.

"I wanted to stay there", del Potro said afterward, "all night long".

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning his men's singles match against Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely, on day seven of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London, Monday July 9, 2018.

In the next set, Del Potro broke and served for the set at 5-4, but double-faulted and Nadal clinched the break-back with a forehand victor down the line for the second set to be decided by a tiebreaker.

Rafa Nadal now meets another old foe, Novak Djokovic, in the semi-final tomorrow.

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

"Rafa is a fighter and he has a fantastic game".

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

The world number one had lost only nine points on serve when, just before the ninth game of the second set, the result of Federer's shock demise was flashed up on the giant on-court scoreboard.

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Nadal ended the four hour and 48 minute thriller with a backhand volley victor past a lunging Del Potro who ended the contest lying flat on his stomach.

Del Potro too noted the change in conditions but appeared to relish the chance to slide around a bit more on the grass.

Del Potro let two break-back points slip in the sixth game and, although his cause looked doomed, he forced Nadal to save three times for 5-3.

John Isner has reached his first Grand Slam semi-final on his 41st appearance.

But the second seed stayed alive by taking the fourth set before the gripping drama continued in an electrifying deciding set in which both players were left diving after volleys and slipping over as they chased after blinding winners.

A tired Del Potro, a semi-finalist in 2013, finished with 33 aces and 77 winners but even those impressive statistics were not enough.

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

It was Del Potro who held sway early in the third, building a 3-2 lead.

"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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