Wimbledon Day 8: Men’s Championship
Juan Martin del Potro struggled to finish off a match interrupted the night before by darkness, with the Argentine reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals 7-6(1), 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(5) over France’s Gilles Simon on Tuesday.
Playing time for the two-part marathon totalled total of four hours, 24 minutes. with the winner striking 27 aces and 78 winners.
With the contest all about attack, Del Potro – now into his second Wimbledon quarter-final – broke four times from 20 chances against the 53rd-ranked opponent whom he beat here in 2011 and on grass in London at the 2012 Olympics held at Wimbledon.
But closing out the win required major effort for the 2009 US Open champion who has had four wrist surgeries since that Grand Slam success nearly a decade ago.
The South American fifth seed was serving for victory over Simon in the fourth set, leading 5-4.
But the Frenchman was hardly going down without a battle, saving four match points and putting Del Potro to the test with four break points, the last one successful as the fifth seed hit the top of the net to drop to 5-all.
The set, like first and second, went into a tiebreaker, with Del Potro forced to come from 1-3 down before finally securing his place in the last eight, where he will face off on Wednesday against Rafael Nadal.
[quote]“I feel good for tomorrow. I been doing treatment already, looking forward for being ready for tomorrow,” Del Potro said. [/quote]
“I think I will be in good conditions, my body feels okay. It’s a big chance for me to face Rafa.
“I’m dealing with all my emotions on court. I’ve been through a lot of problems But now I’m thinking about the future. I’m excited to keep going. I like to keep surprising myself in every tournament.
“I’m No. 4 in the world, which is my highest ranking. That seems a good signal for me. I will see how is my level on grass when I will play against Rafa tomorrow.”
Nadal stand 11-5 in the series and has won the pair’s last two meetings – both at Grand Slams semi-finals in New York last September and Paris a month ago.
While his opponent was working, the Spaniard enjoyed a light day, with practice and the evening World Cup semi-final between France and Belgium atop his personal agenda.
“I’ll practise for one hour and do some treatment with my physio,” the second seed said after reaching the last eight on schedule monday.
“I’m going to watch the football. I’ll probably be relaxing a little bit at home. Maybe cooking a little bit the lunchtime.
“Then watching football, maybe one movie or something like this. That’s it. Easy.”