John Isner, Kevin Anderson in Wimbledon epic

John Isner, Kevin Anderson in Wimbledon epic

Nadal was back to needing one game to claim the set.

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"It took me two or three months and that was frustrating that I wasn't able to perform the game that I was used to and the level of tennis I wanted to play. That's a big thing", said second seed Nadal.

"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".

Strokes of Genius is a world-class documentary capturing the historic 13-year rivalry between tennis icons Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. This was to be his last Grand Slam until 2017. "He is one of the more complex players that I've ever seen in our sport". It is always a big test. He's playing well. The only way to try to win it is to play very well.

In arguably the grandest, and statistically the most frequent, showdown of the Open era, the momentum has swung this way then that.

The grand slam heavyweights will square off for a record 52nd time on Friday night, but first time at a major since the 2016 French Open quarter-finals.

"I'm really not thinking about being an underdog or being a favourite", he said.

"You have to accept that if you want to win important things".

"Friday is another important match against an opponent who is one of the most hard ones that you can face".

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It was Juan Martin del Potro who slumped to his knees and lay flat on the grass after the last point.

Nadal was two sets to one down before fighting back to win in five sets - and nearly five hours - to reach his first SW19 semi-final since 2011.

This is the longest three-set match in the history as it lasted for four hours and three minutes. Expect more of that today against a crowd that will be heavily in Nadal's favour.

Great match, an emotional match for both of us and for the fans, too.

Update: The Nadal vs Djokovics match start time has been pushed back to 12:45 pm EST at the earliest since the Kevin Anderson vs John Isner Semi-Final match has gone five Sets-plus.

After claiming the first set by a single break, Nadal lost the next two by tight margins as Del Potro stole the show on Centre Court with acrobatic shot-making and a total of 33 aces behind his serve.

He had won 34 consecutive sets until midway through his quarterfinal clash against the towering South African Kevin Anderson.

The Argentine next faces two-time champion Rafael Nadal, who has reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time since 2011.

"I'm trying to get to where he's already been", said Isner, who has won all 95 of his service games this fortnight, thanks in part to a tournament-leading 161 aces.

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