Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Rafael Nadal Topples Juan Martin Del Potro to Advance at 2018 Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal Topples Juan Martin Del Potro to Advance at 2018 Wimbledon

The grand slam heavyweights will square off for a record 52nd time on Friday night, but first time at a major since the 2016 French Open quarter-finals. Nadal is through to a Grand Slam semi-final for the fifth time since turning 30 while Djokovic has reached the last-four at a major for the first time since his 30th birthday.

The five-set semifinal between Kevin Anderson and John Isner has become the second longest match in Wimbledon history.

The fourth-round match resumed on Tuesday afternoon after bad light had stopped play on Monday with the Argentinian leading by two sets to one.

After more than a year of trouble, Djokovic finally had surgery in February, then took a while to find his groove. Isner is 8-3 against Anderson, and this will be his first career semifinal at a major.

Defending champion Roger Federer was sensationally knocked out by South African Kevin Anderson on Wednesday. He is one of the more complex players that I have ever seen in our sport, it is always a big test. Djokovic has had the air of a troubled man for most of this tournament and has been reluctant to talk about his serial flare-ups on court, against officials, fans, his box and himself. He seems to have returned to form, as he has been excellent at Wimbledon.

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It's something the US Open is going to introduce this year without consulting players.

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It was such a tense affair, particularly the 71-minute deciding set, that when it was all over, Del Potro lay on the ground, face down, and only got up when he saw Nadal standing over him.

"Of course I was anxious when I lost the second set", said Nadal, who had reached the quarter-finals without dropping a set and might have continued that run had he not squandered four set points, including one with a double fault, in the tiebreak.

"I'm trying to get to where he's already been", said Isner, who has won all 95 of his service games this fortnight, thanks in part to a tournament-leading 161 aces.

Nadal advances to his first Wimbledon semifinal since 2011.

While Nadal's rivalry with Roger Federer may be considered as the most engaging, it is the Spaniard's rivalry with Djokovic which is the most enduring.

Djokovic also added: 'I think it's good to have maybe shot clock for the warm-up, the walk into the court. "I'm a different person, different player today", Djokovic said.

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