Rafael Nadal reaches Wimbledon quarter-finals for first time since 2011

Wimbledon

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. Simon failed to convert a break point, then a third match point for Del Potro ended with him netting a forehand. Both players have settled into a nice rhythm in the opening set and it was Nadal who kept a high level in the entire set, serving at 75% and losing only eight points on serve, avoiding deuces or tie breaks to keep the pressure on Delpo.

On Wednesday, the 29-year-old will be playing in his first Wimbledon quarter-final since 2013, when he went on to lose to Novak Djokovic in an epic semi-final.

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.

"I think it was great quality tennis and in the final set there were some wonderful points", said 2008 and 2010 champion Nadal.

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The imperious Nadal got the job done in straight sets once again, Vesely drilling a backhand just wide to bow out.

The dogfight Nadal feared and Del Potro knew was his only route to the semi-finals had begun in earnest.

Nadal ended the four-hour-and-48-minute thriller with a backhand volley victor past a lunging Del Potro who ended the contest lying flat on his stomach.

The fourth-round match resumed on Tuesday afternoon after bad light had stopped play on Monday with the Argentinian leading by two sets to one.

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The powerful Vesely broke for a 3-2 lead when a rare Nadal forehand error drew gasps of surprise from the crowd. Eventually, things went to a tiebreak Del Potro won to capture the set.

"Rafa is a fighter", del Potro said.

Anderson, who reached his first Grand Slam final at the 2017 U.S. Open, had lost in the fourth round at Wimbledon on three previous occasions.

Isner has yet to be broken at this year's tournament and saved the only break point he faced.

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