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Wimbeldon: Del Potro Face Off Against Nadal in Quarter-final

Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro earned himself a chance to set the record straight against Rafael Nadal after sealing a place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Pratik Sagar | Reuters

Updated:July 11, 2018, 2:35 PM IST
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Wimbeldon: Del Potro Face Off Against Nadal in Quarter-final
Juan Martin Del Potro (Image: AP)
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Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro earned himself a chance to set the record straight against Rafael Nadal after sealing a place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals on Tuesday.

He completed a 7-6(1) 7-6(5) 5-7 7-6(5) win over Frenchman Gilles Simon after fading light interrupted their last-16 clash the previous evening with the fifth seed up two sets to one.

Del Potro was in danger of being dragged into a fifth set when he squandered four match points, one with a double-fault, at 5-4 having hit back from 1-3 down.

He eventually finished off world number 53 Simon in the match's third tiebreak to move into his second Wimbledon quarter-final where twice champion Nadal is waiting.

Del Potro was thrashed by the Spaniard in the French Open semi-final last month but feels his game matches up better against the world number one on grass despite losing their only two meetings on the surface.

"It will be a different match that we played in Paris a few weeks ago," Del Potro told reporters.

"I will try to hold my service games most of the time. If I want to beat him, I have to come to the net very often and play hard with my forehands, with my backhands."

Del Potro trails Nadal 10-5 in head-to-head meetings -- his five wins all coming on hardcourts.

BEST CHANCE

With the Wimbledon lawns baked and playing more bouncy than usual after a long spell of hot weather in London, it could be the 29-year-old's best chance to stop Nadal's impressive run.

Del Potro will have to be firing on all cylinders though -- something he was clearly not doing against Simon in cooler conditions on Tuesday as he made a meal of the fourth set.

He looked flat as he was broken to trail 1-3 but he clawed his way back to lead 5-4 with his serve to come.

He led 40-15 but both match points went begging. Simon failed to convert a break point, then a third match point for Del Potro ended with him netting a forehand.

Simon saved a fourth match point when he threw the kitchen sink at a forehand return and he eventually took his fourth break point to level at 5-5.

The next two games went with serve and the match was well into its fifth hour when the tiebreak began.

Del Potro trailed 1-3 but at 5-5 he fired down an ace to reach match point number five and this time Simon cracked, netting a backhand to the relief of the Argentine who roared his approval, happy to conserve energy before taking on Nadal.

"I think I will be in good condition. My body feels okay. It's a big chance for me to face Rafa tomorrow."

Quarter-final Draw

Roger Federer (1) vs Kevin Anderson (8)

Novak Djokovic (12) vs Kei Nishikori (24)

Milos Raonic (13) vs John Isner (9)

Juan Martin Del Potro (5) vs Rafael Nadal (2)

| Edited by: Pratik Sagar
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