Cyril Ramaphosa leads praise of Kevin Anderson's shock defeat of Roger Federer

Juan Martin del Potro was made to work hard for his win against Gilles Simon

Juan Martin del Potro was made to work hard for his win against Gilles Simon

But if and when Djokovic does break serve, or win a set, or save a set point, or do something to fire himself up and sow doubt in Nadal's head, all of that could be turned upside-down in a hurry, the same way their rivalry has been turned upside-down in a hurry in the past. The last one happened on Wednesday in his win over Juan Martin del Potro after four hours and 47 minutes. He is one of the more complex players that I have ever seen in our sport.

Only a spirited fightback from Nadal saved the Spaniard from suffering a similar five-set fate to Federer, the world No.1 scraping past Juan Martin del Potro 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 4-6 6-4 6-4 in a Centre Court classic.

"I will try to hold my service games most of the time". The final score line read 7-5, 6-7, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in favor of the 17-time Grand Slam champion.

"I was close to beating him and I couldn´t because Rafa always has a little bit more than the rest of the players on tour". His US Open win past year was the first time he had won a Grand Slam outside of the French Open since winning the US Open in 2013. Not just an experience, but a challenge that I've set for myself.

Ten of the 11 matches between them were played on hard courts, while the only encounter on grass came at the Queen's Club in London in 2008, when Isner won in straight sets.

Nadal, the No. 2 seed, won the first set before dropping the second to his Argentine counterpart. Playing Djokovic was the sternest test and he came through a dramatic five-setter dubbed the greatest clay-court match of all-time by Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe.

Serena Williams Advances to 2018 Wimbledon Final with Win vs. Julia Gorges
The other semifinal sees two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber take on 2017 French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko . There was one brief blip to come: Williams got broken for the only time while serving for the match at 5-3.

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. Isner is 8-3 against Anderson, and this will be his first career semifinal at a major.

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.

Rafael Nadal avoided joining Roger Federer in a shock Wimbledon exit as he booked a glamorous semi-final clash with old foe Novak Djokovic.

"I am very happy the way that I survived a lot of important points in that fifth set", Nadal said. 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. "I have all the confidence that he will win the tournament and the title of Wimbledon champion", Xasa said.

'When I go to sleep I have to take a correct position and rest as more as possible.

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