For the first time since 2010-11, Rafael Nadal is in back-to-back Wimbledon semi-finals after a 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Sam Querrey. Just like in the first four encounters, Nadal held everything under controlled and tamed the big-hitting American to move through in straight sets, advancing into the last four with just one set lost against Nick Kyrgios.
Rafa needed two hours and six minutes to hit his seventh semi-final at the All England Club, setting the long-awaited clash with Roger Federer, the first at Wimbledon since that epic 2008 final that Nadal won 9-7 in the fifth set to lift the first crown at the most prominent tennis event.
Querrey has reached three quarter-finals here in the last four years but stood no chance today, hitting 22 aces but losing 45% behind the initial shot to give serve away six times from no less than 16 chances that Rafa created.
On the other hand, the Spaniard suffered one break in the entire match, not choosing the best possible moment for that but controlling the pace of the encounter all the time to sail into the last four and set another meeting with Roger, just like in the semi-final in Paris.
Both players had a lot of winners (43-38 for Rafa) and the Spaniard reduced the number of errors to forge the lead on the court, constructing the points nicely and stealing power from Sam's serve (Nadal had more service winners) and forehand.
Just as he was hoping for, Rafa grabbed an early break in game three, wasting three set points on the return in game nine and getting broken at 5-4 while serving for the set. Querrey lost serve again in game 11 and Nadal closed the opener after repelling three break points for a 7-5, not playing on the desired rhythm in the last 15 minutes but prevailing to gain a massive boost.
Sam got broken in games three and seven in set number two, losing it 6-2 and allowing Rafa to make more damage on the return with breaks in games one and five in set number three, with Nadal sealing the deal with a comfortable hold at 5-2 for the spot in the last four.