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In a 4hr 48min tug of war, Nadal overcame Del Potro 7-5, 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach his first Wimbledon semi-final since 2011.

Nadal wasted a fourth chance at 7-6, before letting 2009 U.S. Open champion del Potro grab three points in a row for that set. He's always like a big war for me. "He's playing very well, I've seen so much of him. I tried to resist and maintain focus". While Anderson has lost five straight matches to Isner, two of them went to final-set tiebreakers, and the last time they faced off was in 2015, well before Anderson revamped his game and his mindset and cracked the Top 10.

After a hectic clay-court season where he won the Monte Carlo, Rome and French Open titles, Nadal chose to go into Wimbledon without playing a warm-up event on grass for the second year running.

'Friday is another important match against opponent that is one of the most hard ones that you can face, ' he said after beating Del Potro.

In the biggest upset of this year's Wimbledon Championship, Anderson beat world number one Federer in a sprawling five-set epic lasting four hours and 14 minutes. "I think Rafa, in the end deserves to win once again".

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.

Champion in 2008 and 2010, Nadal will face off with Djokovic for a record 52nd time on Friday after the Serb earlier ended Kei Nishikori's campaign with a controversy-laden 6-3 3-6 6-2 6-2 triumph over the Asian ace.

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"Anything could have happened, so this is a big achievement for me to get to the semi-finals at Wimbledon".

Isner believes the pair's past adds extra intrigue to today's meeting: "For both of us this match-up is especially cool".

He said: 'I felt like in the last month and a half, the level of tennis has been very close to where I would like it to be, where I'm used to having it.

Isner, who leads Anderson 8-3 in past meetings, is making his debut in the final four of a Grand Slam tournament in his 41st appearance at one.

'In the same time, I'm trying to use the experience and memories that I had on being in final stages of Grand Slams, just take things very simple, day by day.

Nadal won't go away or roll over, even if he's 5-1 down in a deciding set. You know that you can not win against Novak if you don't play well. Having reached the US Open final past year, Anderson will also be one-up on Isner in the big-stage experience department.

Isner's grass data over the last two years is also marginally better than Anderson's, so he does look to hold a slight edge in his quest to reach his first ever Grand Slam final. "I'm not going to change that now", said the American.


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