Rafael Nadal feels 'sorry' for Roger Federer after shock Wimbledon exit

Rafael Nadal feels 'sorry' for Roger Federer after shock Wimbledon exit

However, on the other side of the draw, a mouth-watering semi-final has been set up between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Rafael Nadal will face Novak Djokovic in a mouthwatering Wimbledon semifinal after beating Juan Martin del Potro in a Centre Court classic Wednesday. He is one of the more complex players that I have ever seen in our sport.

Rafale Nadal needed five sets to beat Juan Martin del Potro at 2018 Wimbledon on Wednesday and advance to the semi-finals. I just tried to fight for every point. I'd guess that Rafa will have more self-belief than Djokovic in the early going.

The following year, Nadal downed the Serb, who was world number one at the time, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7, 9-7 in the semi-finals in Paris, this time in four hours and 37 minutes.

In his past two matches, the South African overcame opponents he had never beaten before - Federer had a 4-0 head-to-head record, while Frenchman Gael Monfils (in the Round of 16) boasted five wins over Anderson.

But in a spectacular showing, the 2017 US Open runner-up reeled off three in a row to surge to within a match of a second grand slam final in 10 months.

They have met on 51 previous occasions, but not at this stage of a Slam since the 2014 French Open semi-finals. You know that you can not win against Novak if you don't play well.

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However, the pair's last encounter was more than three years ago - at the Indian Wells Masters - and Anderson has made significant strides since then.

After smoothly slicing through his first four matches the five-set struggle over four hours and 47 minutes, the longest of the tournament, was probably Nadal's ideal preparation for Djokovic, who will test his stamina and movement in entirely different ways, with swift changes of direction rather than raw power and, if it is singing, his serve.

While the Federer exit, to South African Kevin Anderson, losing 13-11 in the final set, is what will sadden most viewers and grab what there are of tennis headlines today, Nadal coming from two sets to one down against perennial almost man Juan Martin Del Potro produced perhaps the most incredible tennis of the day, and definitely the moment of the tournament.

John Isner is 8-3 in his career against Kevin Anderson. But I know a semi-final is one of those matches where anything can happen. "I'm not going to change that now", said the American.

"But my goal is to try to play very well".

"With how I'm feeling physically and mentally, I'm in a very good spot".

Most, but not all, signs point to an Isner win in this battle of the geriatric-i.e., over 30-giants.

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