Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Del Potro faces challenges on return to Wimbledon quarters

Juan Martin del Potro Del Potro reached the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2013
Sidney Guerrero | 13 July, 2018, 00:32

It was Juan Martin del Potro who slumped to his knees and lay flat on the grass after the last point.

Nadal had not dropped a set at the tournament until the quarter-finals where he fought back to defeat Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 6-7 (7/9), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday.

The Spaniard will face Novak Djokovic in the last four for a chance to meet either John Isner or Kevin Anderson in the final. "I've put myself in with hopefully a shot to be playing again on Sunday". I tried to resist, maintaining focus. 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.

But just as a record-extending 44th grand slam semi-final appearance beckoned, Federer blinked - and eighth-seeded Anderson seized the moment.

"Very happy, a very important achievement for me to be back in the semi-finals of Wimbledon". I think confidence is back for him.

The Swiss was expected to cruise through to the latter stages of the tournament and even then should have benefitted from the absence of Andy Murray and fitness struggles for Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Nadal was two sets to one down before fighting back to win in five sets - and nearly five hours - to reach his first SW19 semi-final since 2011.

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

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. However, Nadal made a strong comeback in the second set to win it 7-5.

With the Wimbledon lawns baked and playing more bouncy than usual after a long spell of hot weather in London, it could be the 29-year-old's best chance to stop Nadal's impressive run.

Nadal lost only eight points behind his serve in the opening set, but Del Potro needed only one break point to take a 5-4 lead in the second.

A fearless effort from Isner but it is Anderson who will reach the final.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have set up a box office Wimbledon semi-final but Roger Federer's title defence came to a screeching halt on a drama-charged day at The All England Club. "That's all I got for you right now". "If I want to beat him, I have to come to the net very often and play hard with my forehands, with my backhands".

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

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