Rafael Nadal reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time since 2011 by defeating Juan Martin del Potro 7-5 6-7(7-9) 4-6 6-4 6-4 in one of the most grueling quarter finals at Wimbledon.
The Spaniard was at his very best right from the beginning and easily got the first set under his belt. The second set was a roller coaster ride for both the players, until del Potro got the better of Rafa in a tense tie-break.
Del Potro maintained a hold over Nadal for most of the third set before finally getting a late break to go up 2-1 in the match.
But Nadal came back determined in the fourth set and put the pressure back on the Argentinian by breaking him in the fifth game and forcing a deciding set in the encounter.
The final set was a battle of the nerves involving a lot of drama and Nadal lifted his game at the right time to win the set 6-4, breaking the former US Open champion midway and then saving five break points in his own service game.
The king of clay is known for his match intensity and plays the game with a lot of passion and aggression.
During the fifth set, Nadal sprinted at full pace in an attempt to return a smash from Del Potro, almost taking out an elderly lady in the stands. The lady seemed quite thrilled to be so up close with the spaniard. Even, the other people in the front row looked ecstatic to have the winner of 17 grand slams with them in the stands.
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“I think it was great quality tennis, last set there were some amazing points. I am sorry for Juan-Martin, he is an amazing opponent, amazing player. In some ways he deserved the victory today,” said Nadal after the match.
After fighting through a 4 hours, 48 minutes marathon against del Potro, Nadal has set up a Friday blockbuster clash against Novak Djokovic, who is a three-time champion at Wimbledon and is looking threatening due to the high quality tennis he has played in the last two weeks at SW19.