Nadal: Novak will be a tough opponent

Nadal: Novak will be a tough opponent

Javier Howell
July 14, 2018

The men's tennis is set to witness two greats of the game, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, take on each other in the semis clash today.

The 32-year-old Anderson will vie for the title on Sunday against the victor of the match between Nadal, the world No. 1, and three-time champion Novak Djokovic.

Nadal has 17 while Djokovic has stalled on 12 since completing the career Grand Slam at Roland Garros in 2016.

The pair have only met twice at Wimbledon, Nadal winning their 2007 semi-final when Djokovic retired hurt, the Serb gaining revenge in the 2011 final. "That's a big thing", said second seed Nadal. We played each other in college probably three, four, five times. Djokovic leads the head-to-head battle with 26 wins.

"Always it is a big challenge to face Novak", Nadal said. "He is one of the more complex players that I've ever seen in our sport".

"But is impossible to win always, even for him". "The goal is to come back next year".

In arguably the grandest, and statistically the most frequent, showdown of the Open era, the momentum has swung this way then that.

It will be the second Grand Slam final for Anderson, who reached the final of the US Open a year ago to Rafael Nadal.

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"I'm really not thinking about being an underdog or being a favourite", he said. I tried to resist, maintaining focus. He went 4-3 in front, before closing out the set to increase the pressure on Nadal.

"Friday is another important match against an opponent who is one of the most hard ones that you can face".

The Spaniard made headlines after his touching post-match embrace of Juan Martin del Potro went viral, and he hasn't lost any fans after his latest classy moment.

Nadal was two sets to one down before fighting back to win in five sets - and nearly five hours - to reach his first SW19 semi-final since 2011.

Isner won the longest match at Wimbledon - or any other tournament - when he beat Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the fifth set after 11 hours, 5 minutes in 2010. Playing Djokovic was the sternest test and he came through a dramatic five-setter dubbed the greatest clay-court match of all-time by Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe.

Del Potro, whose best run at the All England Club saw him reach the semi-finals in 2013, triumphed 7-6 (7/1) 7-6 (7/5) 5-7 7-6 (7/5) to set up a last-eight meeting with Rafael Nadal.

Kevin Anderson was just 3-8 against John Isner heading into the semifinals.

Wayne Ferreira, meanwhile, reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 1994 but since then there has been little to celebrate from a South African perspective. until now. I remember chatting to Andy Murray before the tournament and we felt that...