Same old, same old as Nadal wins another five-set nail-biter

Roger Federer Wimbledon

The victor between Kevin Anderson and John Isner will go second on the Open era list for most attempts before reaching the Wimbledon final behind Marin Cilic, who set the record a year ago after reaching the final on his 11th Wimbledon appearance.

They have met on 51 previous occasions, but not at this stage of a Slam since the 2014 French Open semi-finals. Nadal was back to needing one game to claim the set.

Both men are in the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time.

"I will try to hold my service games most of the time".

Del Potro trails Nadal 10-5 in head-to-head meetings - his five wins all coming on hard courts.

While both of those Nadal victories came on clay, they may set the tone for how this match begins. But if and when Djokovic does break serve, or win a set, or save a set point, or do something to fire himself up and sow doubt in Nadal's head, all of that could be turned upside-down in a hurry, the same way their rivalry has been turned upside-down in a hurry in the past.

It was a breathless Wimbledon contest that kept on giving for nearly five hours - diving volleys, ferocious forehands, blazing backhands and even acrobatic tumbles - and at the end of it all Rafael Nadal was the one left standing on Wednesday. "I was not thinking much about what was going on in the other court", said Nadal, who at the same time as Federer, endured a five-hour battle against Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro on centre court.

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"I am very happy the way that I survived a lot of important points in that fifth set", Nadal said.

Nadal resisted the big heart and forehand of Del Potro in a classic to set up what could be another match to savour in the semi-finals against Novak Djokovic.

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South African eighth seed Anderson, 32, has reached a major final before, losing to Nadal in last year's US Open showpiece. But I'm glad with my tournament.

The second semi-final will see Nadal line up against former world number one and three-time Wimbledon champ Novak Djokovic.

Isner, 33, will be playing in his first major semi-final and is bidding to become the first American man to reach a Slam final since Andy Roddick finished Wimbledon runner-up in 2009. I went to the net.

Ten years on from that remarkable contest, which is widely considered as "the greatest ever tennis match", Nadal was again celebrating another All England Club success with the same broad match details.

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