Nadal braced for renewal of Djokovic rivalry

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World number one Rafael Nadal could only smile and admire a stunning passing shot from his Argentine opponent Juan Martin del Potro in last night's epic quarter-final match.

Fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro met stubborn resistance from Frenchman Gilles Simon and had to settle for a suspension of their Wimbledon fourth round match as he led 7-6 (1) 7-6 (5) 5-7 after more than three hours on Court Two on Monday.

Nadal's reward is a place in the 28th Grand Slam semi-final of his career, and a 52nd showdown with long-time rival Novak Djokovic.

Del Potro suffered more heartbreak after losing to Nadal in the semi-finals at Roland Garros last month, his 52 unforced errors proving to be costly as the Spaniard claimed the only break in a pulsating final set. That double fault was a big mistake.

"I am very happy the way that I survived a lot of important points in that fifth set", Nadal said. "But Rafa cames to me and we made a big hug, and it was kind of him".

"I don't think it's something anybody aims for, to win every match in straight sets", Federer said. I think I played really good tennis today. "It was great to me to play Rafa in this level".

"Of course I was anxious when I lost the second set, no?"

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Nadal soon returned the favour with a break of his own, before another hold left Del Potro rattled. "Then the match changed", admits Nadal. I just asked him whether he thought honestly that I damaged the court with the racket.

Having crashed out in the first round at Wimbledon for five consecutive times, Goerges' emotions spilled over at the end of the match after she embraced Bertens at the net. "That's all I got for you right now". "Sometimes you play your best tennis and it's not enough to beat him", said the teary-eyed Argentine, who has had the misfortune of running into Nadal at the French Open and Wimbledon championships over the past five weeks.

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

"What do you want me to do, a handstand?" joked Nadal. Del Potro will have a chance to hone his game when he makes his return on hard courts in three weeks at the Abierto Mexicano de Tenis Mifel presentado por Cinemex.

"It's my goal is to try to play very well".

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.

"(Djokovic) is one of the toughest opponents.

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