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13 July 2018, 12:34 | Anna Jefferson
Juan Martin del Potro was made to work hard for his win against Gilles Simon
If you want to win Wimbledon, you need a bit of luck to go your way.
"In the last set there was a little of everything, great points, great rallies, he was hitting insane with his forehands". After the match, Nadal and del Porto embraced.
"I just try to build the momentum".
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.
Nadal saved three break points before an imperious forehand victor put him 5-3 up and he put away a simple volley to finally finish off Del Potro, then made his way around the net to embrace his tired opponent as he lay on the court following another tumble.
The final set there were some awesome points.
"I´m glad to play in this level against the No. 1 in the world".
On that occasion it was Djokovic who prevailed and the Serbian can certainly go on to Centre Court with an optimistic heart on Friday.
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.
Federer squandered a match point and let slip a two-set lead for only the fifth time in his 20-year career as big-serving South African Kevin Anderson notched a famous 2-6 6-7 (5-7) 7-5 6-4 13-11 quarter-final triumph over the eight-times champion. Del Potro said. "My body feels OK".
But in a spectacular showing, the 2017 US Open runner-up reeled off three in a row to surge to within a match of a second grand slam final in 10 months.
But the second seed stayed alive by taking the fourth set before the gripping drama continued in an electrifying deciding set in which both players were left diving after volleys and slipping over as they chased after blinding winners.
But the 31-year-old has been rejuvenated at Wimbledon, sweeping into the semi-finals for the eighth time.
Nadal got the first set, which consisted of long, close rallies, thanks to the only break in the 12th game to claim the opener 7-5.
A tired Del Potro, a semi-finalist in 2013, finished with 33 aces and 77 winners but even those impressive statistics were not enough.
An Anderson win looked anything but likely after Federer, once again looking imperious, extended his record streak of sets won at Wimbledon to an equal-career-best 34 straight to charge to a two-sets-to-love lead in little more than an hour.
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