Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal edges Taylor Fritz, plays Nick Kyrgios next



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Wimbledon: Rafael Nadal edges Taylor Fritz, plays Nick Kyrgios next

Rafael Nadal is through to his eighth Wimbledon semi-final following an epic 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 triumph over Taylor Fritz in four hours and 20 minutes. Despite an abdominal injury, Rafa kept his composure, prevailed in a marathon to remain perfect in the Wimbledon quarter-finals and set the semi-final clash against Nick Kyrgios.

Taylor played at a high level in the opener and grabbed almost half of the return points. Rafa made a promising start and caught a break in the encounter's opening game, although he could not stay in front for long. Nadal delivered two comfortable holds in games two and four to establish a 3-1 lead before Fritz pulled the break back in game six to return to the positive side.

The American fended off a break chance in the seventh game and gained a boost. He broke Rafa in the next one to open a 5-3 gap and served out for the set a few minutes later for 6-3. Like in the opener, Nadal played better at the start of the second set, broke the rival in game two and opened a 3-0 gap.

Fritz fought back and took three straight games to level the score at 3-3. Rafa denied a break point in game seven, and they both served well until game 12. Taylor served to stay in the set and experienced a break to hand the set to Rafa, who locked the overall score at 1-1.

The American fired ten winners and three winners in the third set and dropped only four points behind the initial shot. He broke Nadal in the third game to forge the advantage and wrapped up the set in style with another break of serve at 5-3 against the struggling opponent.

Rafa raised his level in the fourth set, tamed the rival's second serve and played more aggressive tennis to extend the battle. The set kicked off with breaks on each side, and Nadal earned another in game three for 2-1.

He saved a break point in the next one to cement the lead and moved 4-2 in front with a comfortable hold.

Rafael Nadal defeated Taylor Fritz after four hours and 20 minutes.

Fritz stayed calm and pulled the break back in game eight for 4-4.

Rafa served well in games ten and 12 and broke the youngster at 5-5 to create the crucial difference and force a decider. The final set started with six routine holds, and Nadal stepped in and broke Fritz for 4-3. The Spaniard stayed in front for only a few minutes, as the American broke back in game eight to extend the drama.

Taylor closed the ninth game after a backhand crosscourt winner, and Rafa served to stay in the match in the next one. Nadal responded with a perfect volley winner at the net for a hold at 15 and 5-5. Fritz secured the 11th game with an ace down the T line, and Nadal served to stay in the match for the second time.

Rafa felt no pressure and held at love with a service winner to lock the result at 6-6 and introduce the match tie break. Nadal moved 3-0 up with a deep backhand and a forced error. Taylor reduced the deficit to 5-1 with a volley winner in the sixth point and won the following two points to get back into contention.

Rafa gained a 6-3 lead after a loose backhand from his rival and grabbed the next point after an extended rally and a volley winner. A forehand down the line winner at 8-3 offered Nadal six match points, and he seized the second with a forehand winner to emerge at the top and reach the semis.