(AP) – Top-ranked Rafael Nadal outlasted Juan Martin del Potro in a crowd-pleasing five-set duel to reach his first Wimbledon semi-final since 2011.
In a match filled with entertaining rallies between two of the biggest hitters in the game, Rafa came from a set down to win 7-5, 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in 4 hours, 48 minutes — the longest match of this year’s tournament.
Del Potro finished with 77 winners to Rafa’s 67 but failed to convert any of his five break points in the fifth set. Instead it was the Spaniard who earned the only break of the decider and he closed out the win on his first match point — leaving the fifth-seeded Argentine sprawled on the grass in exhaustion.
Rafa will face Novak Djokovic next in a rematch of the 2011 final, the last time the Spaniard had even made the quarter-finals at the All England Club.