Nadal marches past Vesely into Wimbledon last 8

Paola Ditto
Luglio 12, 2018

Juan Martin del Potro set up a Wimbledon quarter-final clash against Rafael Nadal when he downed Gilles Simon of France 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 7-6 (7/5) on Tuesday.

Soon, Nadal gained the upper hand, shaking off a hard fall onto his back on one point by whipping a cross-court backhand victor on the next to break for a 3-2 lead.

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.

But there were flourishes to Nadal's play too, notably another hotdog shot and also a wicked forehand victor that cut across the court and dipped dramatically onto the line.

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.

Nadal could have gone up two sets to none after leading 6-3 in the tiebreaker.

One such chase left Nadal toppling into the arms of a stunned woman sitting in the front row as he failed to put on the breaks as he dashed after a Del Potro smash.

"Sorry to Juan Martin, he's an unbelievable opponent and player".

"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.

After del Potro also took the third, repeatedly taking points with his thunderclap of a forehand, Nadal knew he needed to make some adjustments. A blistering, nearly joyous whipped forehand sealed the set for Nadal and they went to a fifth.

There was no escaping the pressure when Del Potro held to close the gap to 5-4 in the fourth.

But Nadal was first to break in the deciding set and he built a 5-3 advantage with a looped forehand victor before confirming his final four place with a volley after four hours and 48 minutes.

In a match that delivered quality throughout, Nadal recovered from two sets to one down to treat the Wimbledon crowd to a match few will forget.

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.

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