Nadal marches past Vesely into Wimbledon last 8

  • Nadal marches past Vesely into Wimbledon last 8

Nadal marches past Vesely into Wimbledon last 8

Juan Martin del Potro set up a blockbuster Wimbledon quarter-final showdown against world No 1 Rafa Nadal after defeating Gilles Simon on Tuesday.

'It was an important moment for me, I am happy to be where I am, ' he said. Visily broke Nadal midway through to provoke familiar concerns that a turnaround could strike but Nadal broke back immediately and sealed victory with his third match point to triumph 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.

And Nadal rued failing to take control against del Potro much earlier.

A magnificent sliced backhand victor put the two-time Wimbledon champion a set away from the quarter-finals, but a rare unforced error from Nadal handed Vesely a first break. The final set there were some fantastic points.

The Spaniard, eyeing back-to-back major titles following his 11th French Open triumph, conceded only two points behind his serve in an opening set which he served out easily. But he blew those three set points, the last with a double-fault he later called "a big mistake". He stepped on the short wall and landed in the lap of a female spectator.

That never really felt like much of a cushion, though. Del Potro made him pay as he pounced on his first chance to raise the prospect of another upset on day nine.

"In the end the court was a little bit slippery because the sun goes out and it was humid on the grass", Del Potro added.

After claiming the first set by a single break, Nadal lost the next two by tight margins as Del Potro stole the show on Centre Court with acrobatic shot-making and a total of 33 aces behind his serve. There were no service breaks until the tenth game where Del Porto beat Nadal with a forehand victor to get the service break and set, 6-4.

Victory secured, Nadal climbed over the net and ran over to the baseline to help the distraught Del Potro back to his feet.

There was a look of glee in Del Potro's sometimes sad eyes, and his lumbering between-points walk had a bit more energy to it. Nadal, struggling to get a solid second serve into hard areas, was de-fanged for long stretches. "Also, he has a fantastic game".