Wimbledon 2018 semifinals: Rafa Nadal-Novak Djokovic, John Isner-Kevin Anderson

Wimbledon 2018 semifinals: Rafa Nadal-Novak Djokovic, John Isner-Kevin Anderson

Anderson, number eight ranked in the world, came from two sets down to beat the eight-time Wimbledon champion yesterday, and will now face American John Isner in the semi-finals on Friday. 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.

After Nadal squandered four set points in the third set tiebreak, with a double fault on one of them, Del Potro made him pay as he pounced on his first chance to raise the prospect of another astonishing upset on day nine of the championships. I'd guess that Rafa will have more self-belief than Djokovic in the early going.

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.

Rafa took the first set against Del Potro before falling behind by two sets to one, and then clawing it back to win the game 5-7, 7-6, 6-4, 4-6, 4-6.

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

But just as a record-extending 44th grand slam semi-final appearance beckoned, Federer blinked - and eighth-seeded Anderson seized the moment.

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. "He's playing well. Only way to try to win it is (to) play very well".

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

While Nadal and Djokovic are old hands at winning Slams, the man stood on the opposite side of the net in Sunday's final will be bidding to win a first major.

Rafael Nadal avoided joining Roger Federer in a shock Wimbledon exit as he booked a glamorous semi-final clash with old foe Novak Djokovic. Yet the latter is in the better form overall and remains formidable once he gets to the business end of a tournament.

"But also putting myself in these positions where hopefully I'm able to get another step forward and be playing on Sunday".

"I'm very, very happy to be in this position right now", said the ninth seed, who has never played on Centre Court at Wimbledon. "If I keep going here, maybe I can squash that".

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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