Wimbledon 2018 -- Juan Martin del Potro reaches quarterfinals
12 July, 2018, 05:44 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
Juan Martin del Potro lay sprawled face down on the slippery and dusty Centre Court turf as Nadal punched away a final backhand volley to seal a 7-5 6-7 (7) 4-6 6-4 6-4 win that took him into the semi-finals for the first time since 2011.
Just 90 minutes after defending champion Roger Federer was sensationally knocked out by South African Kevin Anderson on Wednesday, it seemed as if the grasscourt major would lose its top two seeds as Argentine Del Potro took a two-sets-to-one lead.
Del Potro trailed 1-3 but at 5-5 he fired down a swinging ace to reach match point number five and this time Simon cracked, netting a backhand to the relief of the Argetine who roared his approval.
Del Potro was thrashed by the Spaniard in the French Open semi-final last month but feels his game matches up better against the world number one on grass despite losing their only two meetings on the surface.
Del Potro, whose best run at the All England Club saw him reach the semi-finals in 2013, triumphed 7-6 (7/1) 7-6 (7/5) 5-7 7-6 (7/5) to set up a last-eight meeting with Rafael Nadal.
Del Potro finished with 77 winners to Nadal's 67 but failed to convert any of his five break points in the fifth set.
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The two-time victor will meet Novak Djokovic in the last four on Friday.
It was not as if Nadal was playing badly as he had lost only nine points on serve before heading into the ninth game of the second set. Del Potro broke and served for the set at 5-4, but double-faulted and Nadal clinched the break-back with a rasping forehand down the line.
Nadal broke for 3-2 but had to save break points in the sixth and eighth games before securing a memorable victory.
After the victory, Nadal said: 'He played well. Eventually, things went to a tiebreak Del Potro won to capture the set.
"Rafa is a fighter". He went 4-3 in front, before closing out the set to increase the pressure on Nadal.
"It was a very emotional match. great quality tennis, especially in the last set there were some fantastic points". Raonic hit 31 aces to Isner's 25 but was broken three times, including in the last game of the match.
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Matt Reece, 25, who works in marketing, said England had far outperformed the low expectations of them when the tournament began. The game will kick off in Saint Petersburg on Saturday, before Croatia play France in the final in Moscow on Sunday.
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Anderson scented blood and, out-duelling Federer time and again, he broke in the seventh game to level the match at two sets all. Federer, the No. 1 seed, had match point up 5-4 in the third set, but could not put Anderson, the No. 8 seed, away.
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Croatia has played an accumulated game time of 240 minutes in two matches in the round of sixteen and the quarters. They took photographs of themselves with the crowd and unfurled a banner saying "we play for you".