Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Nadal braced for 'complex' Djokovic in 52nd meeting

Nadal braced for 'complex' Djokovic in 52nd meeting

Nadal saved three break points before an imperious forehand victor put him 5-3 up and he put away a simple volley to finally finish off Del Potro, then made his way around the net to embrace his tired opponent as he lay on the court following another tumble.

While the Federer exit, to South African Kevin Anderson, losing 13-11 in the final set, is what will sadden most viewers and grab what there are of tennis headlines today, Nadal coming from two sets to one down against perennial almost man Juan Martin Del Potro produced perhaps the most awesome tennis of the day, and definitely the moment of the tournament.

The Spaniard will face Novak Djokovic in the last four for a chance to meet either John Isner or Kevin Anderson in the final. But [Djokovic] is playing good again. I tried to resist and maintain focus.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will bid to reach the semi-finals of the same grand slam for the first time since the French Open six years ago at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

Anderson's experience of having already won a grand slam semi-final may also be a factor here.

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

That blip was enough for Nadal, chasing an 18th Grand Slam title, to surrender his first set of the championships.

But back came Nadal to level before an enthralling final set which was punctuated by great shot-making and spectacular dives and falls by both players. In some ways he deserves to win as well.

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"He is one of the more complex players that I ever saw in our sport".

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

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.

As Nadal battled against Del Potro, it seemed as if the grasscourt major would lose its top two seeds as Argentine Del Potro took a two-sets-to-one lead.

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"That's all I got for you right now".

"My results were not up to the standard that I had before", said Djokovic after beating Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals.

He eventually finished off world number 53 Simon in the match's third tiebreak to move into his second Wimbledon quarter-final where twice champion Nadal is waiting.

"I just kept on telling myself I have to continue believing".

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