Thursday, 12 July 2018

Wimbledon Day 9 - Nadal d del Potro in 1/4s

Second match on Centre Court on Men’s Quarter Final Day, Wimbledon 2018, was between Rafa Nadal (2) and Juan Martin del Potro (5).

Nadal served first and held to 30, including a backhand volley winner.

del Potro followed with a game of three aces which helped him level at 1-1

Nadal hit a forehand winner on the way to a 2-1 lead

Winners from Nadal - both wings - plus an Argentine double fault and it was deuce.  An ace and game point.  Serve held 2-2

Four clean winners and Nadal  3-2

Winners from the ground and a service winner helped del Potro to 3-3

Double fault Nadal 0-15.  3 errors from del Potro and 40-15.  Service held and 4-3 Nadal.

del Potro was 0-30 after a double fault and a wide forehand.  Forehand winner 15-30.  del Potro into the net and two break points.

One saved.  And the second after a top serve.  Serve held 4-4.

An impressive service game from Nadal and he extended the advantage to 5-4, but on serve.  

A del Potro ace 30-0.  He held for 5-5.  Backhand brilliance from Nadal followed by a ruthless forehand from del Potro 30-30.  Nadal steadied to hold and lead 6-5

Ace from Argentina, then a Nadal backhand blinder 15-15.  del Potro missed wide 15-30.  Nadal missed as well 30-30.  del Potro unforced error and set point to Nadal.  Saved.  Forehand Spanish winner and another set point.  Nadal took the set 7-5.

Forehand winner from Nadal, and later a perfect lob 40-15.  A forehand winner and Nadal led 1-0 in set two.

An ace from del Potro and 40-15.  Game to the Argentine 1-1

An incredibly angled backhand from Nadal 15-0.  40-0 thanks to del Potro errors, and a big serve finished off the game 2-1

A blistering Nadal forehand was more than compensated with del Potro’s ace and two big serves following that 2-2

Nadal hit one out of court 0-15.  A backhand down the line made up for it 15-15.  Nadal won a long rally for 40-15.  A shot too long and 40-30. Nadal held for 3-2 after a winning forehand.

Serves were held until the ninth game where Nadal offered up a series of unfortunate errors to gift a service break to del Potro who led 5-4 and served for the set.

Nadal broke straight back, winning volley and forehand, while the double fault from del Potro was damaging.

Nadal served two aces in a game he won to lead 6-5.

del Potro forced an error, then committed one of his own before ripping a forehand winner - 30-15.  He missed a forehand 30-30.  Another forehand winner came behind a terrific serve to set up game point.  An error and deuce.  Forehand down the line and game point.  An ace for the game and a tie break necessary.

del Potro won a lengthy tie break 9 points to 7, and took the second set to square the match.  This was the first set dropped by the Spaniard in the tournament.  At 6-3 Nadal had three set points.  All squandered.  At 6-7, del Potro faced a fourth set point.  He saved that one as well. 

del Potro took it to 8-7 with a huge serve, and had set point.  A winning forehand sealed it.

No break of serve through eight games in set three, in fact no break points.

Even with a double fault, del Potro hit enough winners to hold serve and lead 5-4.  Nadal served to stay in the set, but del Potro hit two forehand winners and in between Nadal was twice forced into error.

The love game presented del Potro with the third set 6-4 and Nadal was now in trouble.

A double fault from del Potro in the opening game of set four was matched by an ace, and Nadal’s errors enabled a service hold for the Argentine 1-0.

Nadal won his service game easily, the final point a forehand winner.

del Potro made it 2-1, an ace and backhand winner assisting.

A love game from Nadal and 2-2

A forehand Nadal winner then del Potro errors gave the second seed three break points.  The eighth point in a row for Spain achieved the break for Nadal and he led 3-2

A stinging forehand from del Potro and Nadal  replied with the same to give him game point.  A del Potro error and Nadal led 4-2.

Three aces and del Potro held for 3-4.  Nadal opened and closed with winners to be within a game of the set.

Two more aces and a forehand winner from del Potro and at 5-4 Nadal would serve for the set.

Two successive winning volleys brought Nadal to 40-0 and three set points. On the second of these his backhand winner won him the set 6-4 and levelled the match at two sets all

In the fifth game of the final set, Nadal converted the second of two break points with a backhand winner to lead 3-2.

Nadal saved two break points in winning the next game and led 4-2, three winning forehands helpful.

Nadal had del Potro in trouble at 0-30 after a pair of backhand winners, but the fifth seed came back strongly to hold serve, an ace and forehand winner finishing the game. 4-3 Nadal.

Two backhand errors from Nadal brought him from 40-15 to deuce.

A backhand down the line from Nadal and a wonderful forehand from del Potro down the other line.  Deuce again.

del Potro reached a drop shot and put away a winner for break point.  Saved by Nadal.  Argentine forehand forced an error and a second break chance.  Also saved. A third break chance dissolved and Nadal proceeded to hold serve after a terrific game, finished with a stunning Spanish forehand down the line. 5-3 Nadal.

A ridiculous forehand winner one could hardly see it was so fast, followed by a backhand winner and two aces gave everyone possibly a last glimpse of the magic of del Potro, because although he won the game, Nadal would now serve for the match at 5-4.

Two shots hit long by del Potro and 30-0 Nadal.  A pure forehand winner from South America and 30-30.  Match point after a loose del Potro forehand.

A backhand volley winner sent Rafa Nadal into the semi finals of Wimbledon 7-5 6-7(7) 4-6 6-4 6-4

Of all the tennis I’ve seen this Wimbledon, no match has been better than the one just ended.  Either player would have been a worthy winner, but Nadal just won a few more key points.

His first Wimbledon semi final since 2011 will be against Novak Djokovic and that promises to be a blockbuster - the two met just last month at Roland Garros in the quarter finals as part of Nadal’s history making 11th title there.

On grass things will be markedly different and after nearly five hours on court, the Spaniard will have spent a lot of chips.

The other semi final will be a surprise for most - Kevin Anderson (8) v John Isner (9).

Anderson defeated Roger Federer (1) after giving up a two set lead.

He won 2-6 6-7(5) 7-5 6-4 13-11

Isner defeated Milos Raonic (13) 6-7(5) 7-6(7) 6-4 6-3.

The furthest Isner has been in a major before this has been a quarter final seven years ago at Flushing Meadows in the US Open, where Andy Murray beat him.

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