Rafael Nadal defeats Juan Martin del Potro at Wimbledon

Ross Houston
July 12, 2018

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

Del Potro was straining to stay in touch in almost every point, and his gambling instincts drove him to explore the white lines.

" I think it was great quality tennis".

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.

Nadal will face Novak Djokovic next in a rematch of the 2011 final, the last time the Spaniard had even made the quarterfinals at the All England Club.


"Rafa is a fighter and he has a fantastic game". The Spaniard raised his level in set number four, losing just six points on serve and breaking Juan Martin at love in game five to gain the crucial lead, creating two set points on the return at 5-3.

Del Potro raised his game again, though, claiming his third tie-break success of the match to book his date with Nadal.

"In the last set there was a little of everything, great points, great rallies, he was hitting insane with his forehands".

After two-and-a-half hours, Nadal and Del Potro were still a set-all and three-all. It also meant the "King of Clay" was one game away from taking the set. 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.

Del Potro put both hands on his head.


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

There was, however, one consolation for Del Potro who came off second best despite belting down 33 aces and producing 77 staggering winners, 10 more than Nadal.

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.

Nadal caught Del Potro napping in the fifth game, the big man slipping on the worn baseline dust as he was broken to love. Only negative thing is I played nearly five hours, and I had the chance maybe to play less winning that second set.


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