ATP Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal edges del Potro to set Novak Djokovic clash!

Del Potro sets up quarter-final showdown with Nadal

It was a case of down but definitely not out as a Rafael Nadal kept fighting to make it to the Wimbledon semi-finals with a pulsating 7-5 6-7 (7) 4-6 6-4 6-4 over Juan Martin del Potro.

The supporter seemed pretty delighted to be so up close and personal with one of the greatest players of all time, who went on to win a dramatic five-setter 7-5 6-7 4-6 6-4 6-4 in a match lasting the best part of five hours. Nothing could separate them in the first eight games of the second set as well and Rafa drew first blood in game nine, taking a 5-4 lead and serving for the set in the following game. He squandered the chance to serve out the set and that looked to be costly when he trailed 4-1 in the breaker, but his rival double-faulted on one of four set points as the nerves set in.

Victory secured, Nadal climbed over the net and ran over to the baseline to help the distraught Del Potro back to his feet. Del Potro, however, opening his shoulders with his feared forehand and blasting a victor that left Nadal gasping on the baseline - and a set down just short of three hours.

The Spaniard held for 5-3, and a bit later a forehand victor gave him the set 6-4 to force a decider.

But Del Potro ended the match flat on his face, the latest in a succession of slips, and Nadal explained that the conditions underfoot were to blame.

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.

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"In the end the court was a little bit slippery because the sun goes out and it was humid on the grass", Del Potro added.

That blip was enough for Nadal, chasing an 18th Grand Slam title, to surrender his first set of the championships.

Next up for the Spaniard is a blockbuster last four showdown with Novak Djokovic.

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