Rafael Nadal's Triumph over Del Potro: A Wimbledon Tale of Grit and Determination

Rafael Nadal scored an epic win over Juan Martin del Potro at Wimbledon 2018 in just under five hours

by Jovica Ilic
Rafael Nadal's Triumph over Del Potro: A Wimbledon Tale of Grit and Determination

After six terrible years at The All England Club, Rafael Nadal finally produced his A-game at Wimbledon in 2018. The Spaniard faced Juan Martin del Potro in the quarter-final and scored an epic 7-5, 6-7, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 triumph in four hours and 48 minutes!

World no. 1 prevailed in the decider and advanced into his first Wimbledon semi-final in seven years. It was Nadal's 28th Major semi-final, matching Ivan Lendl and standing three behind Jimmy Connors. It was their 16th meeting on the Tour and the second within a month after the Roland Garros semi-final clash.

Rafa earned his 11th triumph over Juan Martin and improved to 34-2 in 2018! Del Potro fired 33 aces but struggled on the second serve, facing ten break points and getting broken four times. Nadal denied five out of seven break points and still had to play five tough sets against an inspired rival.

Rafa served at 75% in the first set and sailed through his service games, never facing deuce or a break point.

Rafael Nadal prevailed over Juan Martin del Potro at Wimbledon 2018.

Del Potro denied two break points in the eighth game and served to prolong the set at 5-6.

The Argentine netted a routine forehand and offered his opponent a set point. Nadal wasted it but seized the second after del Potro's loose backhand to clinch the opener 7-5. They served well in the second set's opening eight games before Rafa faced two break points at 4-4.

Del Potro seized the first to build the advantage and served for the set. Nadal refused to surrender, breaking back in game ten with a forehand down the line winner and gaining a boost. Rafa forged a 6-3 advantage in the tie break, but it was not to be for him.

World no. 1 squandered four set points and allowed his rival to steal it 9-7 and level the overall score after two hours and five minutes! The third set produced more high-quality tennis, and Nadal was the first who crumbled under pressure.

The Spaniard served to stay in the set at 4-5 and got broken at love after the Argentine's forehand winner that sent him two sets to one in front and closer to the finish line. Nadal raised his level in set number four, having no room for errors.

Rafa lost six points behind the initial shot and delivered a break at love at 2-2 to move in front. Del Potro saved two set points on his serve at 3-5 before Nadal wrapped up the set in the next one, landing a backhand crosscourt winner to take the set 6-4 and introduce a decider after three hours and 36 minutes.

With a boost on his side, Rafa secured a break at 2-2 with a cracking backhand crosscourt winner that pushed him closer to the finish line. The Spaniard saved two break points in the next one, cementing the break and moving 4-2 in front.

Nadal prevailed in the eighth game after fending off three break points, staying ahead and serving for the victory at 5-4. Rafa earned a match point after Juan Martin's forehand error and seized it with a serve & volley combo to book a place in the semi-final and arrange another thrilling clash versus Novak Djokovic.

Rafael Nadal Wimbledon Juan Martin Del Potro