Del Potro scraps past Simon to set up Nadal clash

Annette Crawford
July 13, 2018

Juan Martin del Potro powered through to only his second Wimbledon quarter-final after beating Gilles Simon.

The Spaniard will face Novak Djokovic in the last four for a chance to meet either John Isner or Kevin Anderson in the final. "You know that you can't win against him if you don't play very well". I tried to resist, maintaining focus.

A sprightly Nadal went on the front foot to turn the tide in the fourth, Del Potro twice hitting the deck as he was broken to love to trail 3-2 and while he saved two set points behind his powerful serve, the 11-time French Open champion was jumping for joy after a searing backhand victor made sure the match would go all the way.

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.

The mental strength, arguably the characteristic that propelled him to world No 1 for the first time in 2011 and kept him at the top of the game for five years is back.

This was to be his last Grand Slam until 2017.

After claiming the first set by a single break, Nadal lost the next two by tight margins as Del Potro stole the show on Centre Court with acrobatic shot-making and a total of 33 aces behind his serve.

"I play Los Cabos in Mexico - the beach", he smiled.

Del Potro trails Nadal 10-5 in head-to-head meetings - his five wins all coming on hard courts.

The pair have only met twice at Wimbledon, Nadal winning their 2007 semi-final when Djokovic retired hurt, the Serb gaining revenge in the 2011 final.

The powerful Argentinian has won five of his 15 matches against Nadal but lost to the world number one at two of the last three slams.

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

The victor between Kevin Anderson and John Isner will go second on the Open era list for most attempts before reaching the Wimbledon final behind Marin Cilic, who set the record a year ago after reaching the final on his 11th Wimbledon appearance.

South African eighth seed Anderson, 32, has reached a major final before, losing to Nadal in last year's US Open showpiece.

"I said at the beginning of the tournament, getting through to the quarters was a big goal of mine", he said.

"If I want to beat him (Nadal)", Del Potro said.

"I'm like, "You don't have to be sorry".

"With how I'm feeling physically and mentally, I'm in a very good spot".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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