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Del Potro sets up quarter-final showdown with Nadal

13 Juillet 2018

After nearly two weeks of intense tennis action, Wimbledon has entered the semifinal stage.

An old rivalry is renewed on Friday with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic set to scrap it out for the right to be the favourite in Sunday's Wimbledon final.

But with Djokovic and Nadal still waiting for their turn on Centre Court, the Serbian has decided to make use of his time in a rather unusual way.

- Nadal and Djokovic meet for the 52nd time.

"It is always a big challenge to face Novak".

Baseline confidence Rafael Nadal is super confident after his success on clay, winning his 11th French Open title, and now he is playing a lot better on grass.

The South African won the opening set on a tie-break but lost two subsequent tie-breaks before he levelled the match 6-4 in the fourth. Not only is he advancing to the first Grand Slam semifinal of his career at Wimbledon, he and his wife, Highland Park native Madison McKinley, are expecting their first baby girl.

"We always played in important stages, important places", said Nadal, who had a far rougher go of things in the quarterfinals than Djokovic, needing more than 4½ hours to edge Juan Martin del Potro in a five-set thriller. After losing the first set, Nadal had to work hard to come back in the second set.

Now I'm looking forward to keep playing in this level at the US Open, which is one of my favorite tournaments to play.

- Nadal is bidding to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the same year for the third time and equal Bjorn Borg's all-time record. In a four-set match that went on for two hours and 35 minutes, the 12-time Grand Slam title victor, and three-time Wimbledon champion, was in control despite dropping the second set.

The other men's semifinal features two big servers bidding for a first major championship: Kevin Anderson of South Africa and John Isner of the U.S. I went to the net. This may not be the Djokovic-Nadal slugfest of yesteryear, but it remains a fascinating encounter all the same.

Djokovic took the first set 6-3 and was on course to avenge his defeat he suffered the previous year.

The resurgent Nadal has won his past two matches with Djokovic and leads the Serb 9-4 in grand slam showdowns.

This is the longest three-set match in the history as it lasted for four hours and three minutes.

Is Djokovic back? Nadal will fear Djokovic, who has been improving with each tournament this year. That match spanned 11 hours and five minutes, with Isner eventually triumphing 70-68 in an astounding final set. Djokovic owns 12 Slam trophies, three from Wimbledon.

Del Potro sets up quarter-final showdown with Nadal