Novak Djokovic can beat Rafael Nadal, suggests Kei Nishikori

Roger Federer

GETTYFederer is looking to win his ninth Wimbledon title this week

"In some ways he deserves to go through too".

" I think it was great quality tennis".

Like Federer and Anderson, Nadal and del Potro Nadal slugged it out for more than four pulsating hours before Spain's 17-times major victor finally landed the knockout punch. I just tried to fight for every point.

The crowd were on their feet when Del Potro took off to end a magnificent point with a diving volley in a marathon third game, yet Nadal got the break with a sublime cross-court victor in the next service game.

Rafael Nadal has a bit of that on his side, with the world No.1 the sole player from the top seven in the men's rankings to reach the semi-finals.

"After nearly five hours match, I fell down".

The world number one, playing in his first All England Club quarter-final since finishing runner-up to Djokovic in 2011, then wasted four set points in the second.

Sorry to Juan Martin, he's an wonderful opponent and unbelievable player. It's a big chance for me to face Rafa.

A few hours earlier, however, it looked as if it was going to be 32-year-old Nadal who would end up down and out.

The fourth-round match resumed on Tuesday afternoon after bad light had stopped play on Monday with the Argentinian leading by two sets to one.

It was as if that out-of-the-blue news threw the Spaniard off his stride and he fluffed his lines to drop his serve.

Del Potro finished with 77 winners to Nadal's 67 but failed to convert any of his five break points in the fifth set. Del Potro made him pay as he pounced on his first chance to raise the prospect of another upset on day nine.

All four semi-finalists are aged 30 or over - the first time in the Open era that the men's singles semis at a Grand Slam have been contested exclusively by players over 30.

But the second seed stayed alive by taking the fourth set before the gripping drama continued in an electrifying deciding set in which both players were left diving after volleys and slipping over as they sprinted after blinding winners.

Nadal got the first set, which consisted of long, close rallies, thanks to the only break in the 12th game to claim the opener 7-5.

"Anything could have happened, so this is a big achievement for me to get to the semi-finals at Wimbledon".

A tired Del Potro, a semi-finalist in 2013, finished with 33 aces and 77 winners but even those impressive statistics were not enough.

The roaring Centre Court fans who gave him a standing ovation would not disagree.

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