Nadal to face Djokovic after beating Del Potro in epic

Wimbledon

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal outlasted Juan Martin del Potro in a crowd-pleasing five-set duel to reach his first Wimbledon semifinal since 2011.

Rafael Nadal reacts after beating Juan Martin del Potro in five sets. In some ways he deserves to win as well.

"In the last set there was a little of everything, great points, great rallies, he was hitting insane with his forehands".

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

Nadal ended the four-hour-and-48-minute thriller with a backhand volley victor past a lunging Del Potro who ended the contest lying flat on his stomach.

'Every day is a different story.

But there were flourishes to Nadal's play too, notably another hotdog shot and also a wicked forehand victor that cut across the court and dipped dramatically onto the line. It was that kind of match.

"Rafa is a fighter", del Potro said. I wanted to stay there for all night long. "It's a big chance for me to face Rafa tomorrow".

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On this occasion, the world No 1 had trailed two sets to one after a super serving performance in the third and fourth sets by Del Potro.

It was not as if Nadal was playing badly.

It was as if that out-of-the-blue news threw the Spaniard off his stride and he fluffed his lines to drop his serve.

He looked on the brink of victory when he moved 40-15 ahead but both match points vanished, the second with a double-fault.

But the second seed stayed alive by taking the fourth set before the gripping drama continued in an electrifying deciding set in which both players were left diving after volleys and slipping over as they sprinted after blinding winners.

Nadal battled hard to earn his first break, something he eventually collected when Del Potro hit the net from his backhand.

Djokovic enters eighth Wimbledon semi-final Nadal triumphed 7-5, 6-7 (7/9), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 after four hours and 48 minutes to reach his sixth Wimbledon semi-final and 28th at the majors.

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.

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