Nadal’s last appearance in the Wimbledon semi-finals was in 2011 when he subsequently finished as runner-up while del Potro will be aiming for his first last-four appearance since 2013. Indeed given that Nadal had made it through to five consecutive Wimbledon Finals between 2006 and 2011with two titles along the way, it was something of a surprise to see such a decline in the Spaniard’s fortunes at the tournament. Nevertheless Nadal has underachieved in recent years with the Spaniard clearly susceptible to big hitters and big servers, this enough to deny him progression past the fourth round of the competition between 2012 an 2017. The question remains, will he cut it at Wimbledon ever again?
Nadal is at his very best on clay and he has enjoyed something of a resurgence at Wimbledon this time around with no sets dropped on his way to the last eight. The hot weather will certainly have helped no end with drier courts and higher-bouncing balls, however the draw has also been pretty kind to the Spaniard and he has enjoyed straight-set wins over Jiri Vesely, Alex Di Minaur, Mikhail Kukushkin and Dude Sela. This is Nadal’s third Grand Slam quarter-final appearance in 2018 and he has enjoyed plenty of rest since his last clay exertions with no appearance at the Queens tournament, however should he wish to go all the way at Wimbledon then he will need to find a way past del Potro, Djokovic and Federer. No easy task.
Del Potro made it to the Wimbledon semi in 2013 where he tested Djokovic to the limit and this is his first appearance in the last-eight since then with injuries precluding him from appearing in many tournaments. Nevertheless he is now back to full fitness and we can now sit back and enjoy what the Argentinian has to offer. Del Potro has quality in abundance and it was little surprise to see him reach the semi-final of the US Open last season with Roger Federer beaten along the way. He made it through to the semi-final of the French Open where he suffered defeat at the hands of Nadal although, like the Spaniard, he played no part in the Queens tournament earlier this year courtesy of a groin injury. Judging by his performances thus far at Wimbledon, he clearly didn’t require the match practice anyway.
Nadal has beaten del Potro in each of their last two meetings on grass and the Spaniard will be relentless in today’s meeting. Del Potro will need an all-out aggressive approach against the World Number One and he will cause Nadal plenty of problems given that he has the firepower and skill in abundance. Nadal may have been untroubled at the tournament thus far but this will be his first real test and one which we believe he will ultimately fail, Bet365 Bookmakers going 11/5 on del Potro to win today.