Wimbledon 2018, Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal Semi-final

Wimbledon 2018, Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal Semi-final

Two-time champion Rafael Nadal outlasted Juan Martin del Porto in a match that lasted almost five hours in the Wimbledon quarterfinals Wednesday in London.

Nadal leads their series 26-25 heading into Friday's match, including 9-4 at Grand Slam tournaments.

"There is no other match in the history of tennis that has been played more than our matches", said Nadal.

Djokovic's win that day was all the more remarkable having come through a five-hour semi-final with Andy Murray just two days before - a situation Nadal finds himself in this time around.

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A big-serving match tends to have shorter points than one featuring at least one return-orientated player, and so it proved in these - Anderson and Federer played 67 games in 257 minutes (3.84 minutes per game), while it took Nadal and Del Potro 292 minutes to play 55 games (5.31 minutes per game).

Both can make real statements by going all the way at the All England Club.

It's also the first time in over 30 years that a South African has got this far in the men's draw.

For his part, Djokovic is eyeing a 13th major after making the semifinals of a Slam for the first time since finishing runner-up at the 2016 US Open. He did manage to unexpectedly reach the final of the US Open a year ago, losing out to Nadal in straight sets.

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There was no turning back from there as he won the third and fourth set with relative ease to win his ninth Roland Garros title and his 14th Grand Slam title.

"I wanted to stay there", del Potro said afterward, "all night long". "He's playing very well, I've seen so much of him".

Suffering from pain in his back, ribs and cramping legs, Novak Djokovic was face-down beside the court in Arthur Ashe Stadium, getting treatment.

"I'm not thinking about being an underdog or a favourite", Djokovic said after his quarter-final.

"But is impossible to win always, even for him".

The epic five-set contest saw the first four sets split between the duo.

It will be his eighth semi-final appearance at the All England Club, although he admitted there's a "different" feel to this one. "And I couldn't because Rafa always has a little bit more than the rest of the players on tour".

"It´s not good for me".

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