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

Rafael Nadal

World number 1 Rafael Nadal has reached his first Wimbledon semi-final since 2011 and the 28th overall, becoming the fifth player in the Open era with so many Grand Slams after an epic 7-5 6-7 4-6 6-4 6-4 triumph over Juan Martin del Potro in four hours and 48 minutes!

In a match suspended from Monday night due to darkness with the Argentine star two sets to one ahead, Del Potro sealed victory on a fifth match point after nearly four and a half hours of action on Court Two.

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.

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

Del Potro raised his game again, though, claiming his third tie-break success of the match to book his date with Nadal.

The two-time victor will meet Novak Djokovic in the last four on Friday. He saved another break point to inch closer to the semi-final, but just couldn't put Del Potroaway during a terrific and gruelling fifth set.

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The fifth seed had led by two sets on Monday but Simon grabbed the third set before fading light ended play. Del Potro broke and served for the set at 5-4, but double-faulted and Nadal clinched the break-back with a rasping forehand down the line.

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

"Rafa is a fighter".

Nadal broke for 3-2 but had to save break points in the sixth and eighth games before securing a memorable victory. He went 4-3 in front, before closing out the set to increase the pressure on Nadal. The hard-serving American beat Milos Raonic of Canada 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3 to set up a meeting with Federer's conqueror Kevin Anderson in the last four.

"It was a very emotional match. great quality tennis, especially in the last set there were some unbelievable points".

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