Rafael Nadal edges Juan Martin del Porto in Wimbledon quarterfinals

Rafael Nadal Wimbledon

That victory came in the aftermath of Roger Federer's exit, which has left the two "Big Four" members the heavy favourites to win the title. Djokovic comparatively hasn't had an easy outing, but he has been striking the ball with the confidence and finesse that is reminiscent of the days when he could do no wrong on a tennis court.

The pair have met on 51 occasions in the past - with Djokovic narrowly leading their head-to-head by one win - though this is just their fourth encounter on a grass court.

"I know he's playing very well", the Spaniard said. I tried to resist, maintaining focus.

Today, Nadal, now aged 32 and a 17-times grand-slam champion, can move to within one win of reducing the deficit to two again, which adds to the stakes of his Wimbledon semi-final against Novak Djokovic today.

His first serve in particular had been a key tool on the day. Yet the latter is in the better form overall and remains formidable once he gets to the business end of a tournament. Sometimes people are not aware about it, but winning the Roland Garros gives a lot to Rafa, winning Australian Open gives a lot to Federer. No player in the men's circuit managed to achieve such a feat since Rod Laver's Calendar Slam in 1969. But there's a different ring to this achievement.

Only in this last 18 months has he been able to restore his glory, with successive French Open titles, and a US Open victory.

"I like the level of tennis that I'm playing on right now".

"I felt like it was getting better and better as time went on".

"I am not that good to have the chance to think about all the things going on outside". Not get ahead of myself too much. "I've been through that".

Nadal is more than aware of the threat he poses.

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The French Open champion will next face Novak Djokovic in a clash of two former champions following the Serbian's success over Kei Nishikori earlier on Wednesday.

"He is one of the more complex players that I ever saw in our sport". It's always a big test. "He's playing well. Only way to try to win it is play very well". He played well. I believe I increased a little bit the level in the fourth and the fifth.

At least Anderson can boast of one runner-up finish, and it was recent, against Nadal at last year's U.S. Open.

Isner, the towering American who stands at 6'10, does have a long lasting legacy in London though.

Since then though, the World No 10 has remained on the fringes when it comes to the Slams. But we are not very far apart.

Federer faces eighth seed Kevin Anderson, who he has not dropped a set against in four previous meetings.

In an odd-numbered year, the exit of Roger Federer in a five-set thriller, followed immediately by the triumph of Rafa Nadal in a five-set thriller on Centre Court, would have dominated the sports pages, but unfortunately for tennis fans, England had to go and get to and get beat to Croatia.

"The first two sets were really tight".

John Isner is headed to his first Grand Slam semifinal. Having reached the US Open final a year ago, Anderson will also be one-up on Isner in the big-stage experience department.

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