Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will renew rivalry in Wimbledon semi-finals

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will renew rivalry in Wimbledon semi-finals

None of his opening four opponents were ranked inside the world top 50, meaning he faced a huge jump in class against world number four Juan Martin del Potro in Wednesday's semi-final.

"He is one of the more complex players that I ever saw in our sport".

After so much speculation about a possible Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, 10 years after their last, the tennis world instead will get a semifinal featuring another outstanding rivalry: Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic. I tried to resist and maintain focus. I'd guess that Rafa will have more self-belief than Djokovic in the early going. While Djokovic holds the edge overall at 26-25, Nadal is 9-4 in Grand Slams against a player at one time considered his nemesis. Maybe I don't have a good record with him, but I always enjoy playing him'.

After all, those were broad details of the mesmerising 2008 final when the Spaniard ended Roger Federer's five-year Wimbledon reign and hoisted the Challenge Cup for the first time.

Nadal is now two wins from an 18th Grand Slam title although he felt the one negative was having to play for close to five hours, but was happy to have survived an epic encounter.

"At the same time, I'm trying to use the experience and memories that I have of being in the final stages of Grand Slams, just take things very simple, day by day".

"Emotional match for both of us", said Nadal, who is ranked No. 1 and seeded No. 2 and won two of his 17 major championships at Wimbledon.

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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.

John Isner is 8-3 in his career against Kevin Anderson.

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.

Friday's showdown will be their 52nd meeting overall _ the most for any pair of men and 14 more installments than Federer vs. Nadal _ and first at the All England Club since 2011.

"I'm trying to get to where he's already been", said Isner, who has won all 95 of his service games this fortnight, thanks in part to a tournament-leading 161 aces. But the tall 32-year-old fought back to break in the 12th game of the third set to clinch it 7-5, and never looked back. "Physically I'm OK. That gives me confidence to keep going in the future".

Most, but not all, signs point to an Isner win in this battle of the geriatric-i.e., over 30-giants.

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