Nadal marches past Vesely into Wimbledon last 8

Milos Raonic

Juan Martin del Potro advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time since 2013 after beating Gilles Simon 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5).

There was just the one break point in the opening set and it proved to be decisive, the unseeded Vesely gifting Nadal a 3-1 lead with a costly double fault.

Nadal ended the four-hour-and-48-minute thriller with a backhand volley victor past a lunging Del Potro who ended the contest lying flat on his stomach.

Nadal soon returned the favour with a break of his own, before another hold left Del Potro rattled.

The fifth seed had led by two sets on Monday but Simon grabbed the third set before fading light ended play. 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. Del Potro made him pay as he pounced on his first chance to raise the prospect of another upset on day nine.

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.

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"Against Rafa", del Potro said, "you must go for winners all the time". A blistering, nearly joyous whipped forehand sealed the set for Nadal and they went to a fifth.

Nadal slipped mid-court twice in the fifth game, but stayed upright to break with a cracking angled backhand.

"I do think that towards the end of the match there was a certain dampness in the sections where there was still grass, nearer the net, when the humidity drops", Nadal explained in his Spanish language press conference.

Anderson, who reached his first Grand Slam final at the 2017 U.S. Open, had lost in the fourth round at Wimbledon on three previous occasions.

Simon saved a fourth match point when he threw the kitchen sink at a forehand return and he eventually took his fourth break point to level at 5-5. Raonic hit 31 aces to Isner's 25 but was broken three times, including in the last game of the match.

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