Wimbledon 2018: Rafael Nadal in stands, Novak Djokovic incensed during wins

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro in action during the fourth round match against France's Gilles Simon. Toby Melville Reuters

At two sets to one down, the prospect of Nadal and Federer exiting a grand-slam tournament on the same day for the first time was becoming real.

Nadal was a set away from crashing out only a matter of hours after defending champion and favorite Roger Federer had suffered a stunning defeat against Kevin Anderson.

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. I tried to resist and maintain focus.

"This photo says it all", wrote Juan Martin del Potro on his Instagram page.

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 blip was enough for Nadal, chasing an 18th Grand Slam title, to surrender his first set of the championships.

The fourth-round match resumed on Tuesday afternoon after bad light had stopped play on Monday with the Argentinian leading by two sets to one.

A match which has gone down in the record books as the longest Grand Slam final, lasting five hours and 53 minutes - and finishing at 1.37am - before Djokovic prevailed.

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Del Potro suffered more heartbreak after losing to Nadal in the semifinals at Roland Garros last month, his 52 unforced errors proving to be costly as the Spaniard claimed the only break in a pulsating final set. 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.

Two-time champion Rafael Nadal outlasted Juan Martin del Porto in a match that lasted almost five hours in the Wimbledon quarterfinals Wednesday in London.

Opportunity knocks for both men here with a chance at a first Wimbledon final.

Nadal, the No. 2 seed, won the first set before dropping the second to his Argentine counterpart.

A courageous effort from Isner but it is Anderson who will reach the final. "That's all I got for you right now".

Isner, 33, will be playing in his first major semi-final and is bidding to become the first American man to reach a Slam final since Andy Roddick finished Wimbledon runner-up in 2009.

"My results were not up to the standard that I had before", said Djokovic after beating Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals. "I think I can keep doing damage here".

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