Del Potro scraps past Simon to set up Nadal clash

Elena Summers
July 13, 2018

Djokovic won a routine four-setter against Japan's Kei Nishikori in two hours and 38 minutes, while Nadal battled for just under five hours to somehow get past Juan Martin del Potro in a five-set thriller.

Del Potro threw everything he could at Nadal in a pulsating match and even conjured the shot of the tournament as he acrobatically dived to his right to hit a fizzing forehand volley that ended a spellbinding 23-shot rally.

It was the deflating turnaround against Schwartzman, in particular, after demolishing the diminutive Argentinian 6-1, 6-2 in the opening two sets of an eventual distressing 1-6, 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7/0), 6-2 French Open fourth round defeat that raised doubts about Anderson's ability to muster his best on the biggest occasions.

Playing him is always a big challenge. "He's playing very well, I've seen so much of him".

"I just try to build the momentum". Isner leads their head-to-head record 8-3, including their only match on grass, at Queen's eight years ago, but most of those have been close.

These victories certainly cannot be viewed as a positive for subsequent rounds, although it's probably fair to say that if one player can be fresh after a five-hour match, it will be Nadal.

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.

At 1-all in the fifth, del Potro jumped to his right, rolling along the turf and losing his racket, for a volley victor, and then celebrated by raising both arms.

That mishap could not stop Nadal from reaching his sixth Wimbledon semi-final and he celebrated the moment by raising both arms up into the skies after four hours and 48 minutes of thrilling action. Sometimes you play your best tennis and it's not enough to beat him.

John Isner is headed to his first Grand Slam semifinal.

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

Djokovic came into the Championships on the back of a frustrating year which was blighted by an elbow injury and saw him slide down the world rankings as a result.

"A very emotional match". His US Open win past year was the first time he had won a Grand Slam outside of the French Open since winning the US Open in 2013.

Isner got past Milos Raonic in four sets on Wednesday, in a predictably serve-orientated affair, and I expect more of the same against Anderson, who also serves superbly. I'd guess that Rafa will have more self-belief than Djokovic in the early going.

"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.

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