Nadal defeats Del Potro in five sets to reach Wimbledon final four

Nadal defeats Del Potro in five sets to reach Wimbledon final four

John Isner will play no-Trumps but a lot of aces in his first Wimbledon semi-final on Friday as, despite a cheeky invitation this week from the flagpole-tall American, the president and the first lady will be having afternoon tea with the Queen at Windsor Castle at about the time Big John puts his umpteenth free point past Kevin Anderson.

Rafael Nadal will face Novak Djokovic in a mouthwatering Wimbledon semifinal after beating Juan Martin del Potro in a Centre Court classic Wednesday.

The 2009 US Open champion's spirit never died and he set up another three break points but Nadal relentlessly moved just one game away from the semi-finals after a 13-minute game.

"Rafa is a fighter", del Potro said.

"I am not that good to have the chance to think about all the things going on outside". After nearly five hours, I fell down. "I've only lost one match", said Nadal.

One of those was on double fault in the tiebreak and the giant Argentine pounced to level the tie.

"I think it was great quality tennis, the final set was there were some fantastic points".

Nadal saved a break point at 2-2, then took the lead courtesy of a strong backhand.

A tired Del Potro, a semi-finalist in 2013, finished with 33 aces and 77 winners but even those impressive statistics were not enough.

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"It will be a different match that we played in Paris a few weeks ago", Del Potro told reporters. But maybe after tomorrow when I get home and I watch the match, I will be glad.

Being kept on court for so long before a 52nd meeting with Djokovic is not exactly the kind of preparation the 17-times Grand Slam champion would have wanted.

The first semifinal at Centre Court, between No. 8 seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa and No. 9 John Isner of the USA, features two powerful servers with similar games who have a lot less star power and considerably fewer Grand Slam trophies, to say the least: The Nadal-Djokovic combined count is 29, including five at Wimbledon.

At two sets to one down, the prospect of Nadal and Federer exiting a grand-slam tournament on the same day for the first time was becoming real.

"This photo says it all", wrote Juan Martin del Potro on his Instagram page. "In some ways he deserves to win as well", said Nadal after the breath-taking quarter-final.

I know in the semi-finals of Wimbledon you will not have an easy opponent.

"The last set had a little bit of everything, great points, great rallies, he was hitting insane with his forehands".

Del Potro ended the match flat on the grass as Nadal held his arms aloft, before clambering over the net for a consoling, and exhausted, hug.

They played each other at college - still the main nursery for professional tennis in the United States - and have met 11 times on the Tour.

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