July 10, 2018
Juan Martin del Potro defeated Gilles Simon by a nail-biting 7-6, (7-1), 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), to set up a mouthwatering showdown against Rafael Nadal.
Carried forward from the previous day, it was a match that demanded a particular nerve and intensity from the eventual winner.
And it was the crowd-pleaser from Argentina who produced what it took at key moments to win through on the breakers.
Del Potro looked to the heavens and roared with relief after wiping out a break against him in the fourth set to take the match in dramatic style.
Delpo’s determination opened the way for the massive match-up with Nadal. But does the South American have the physical condition to take on Rafa in what promises to be a brutal battle?
We will soon find out, as Wimbledon 2018 starts to build towards a glorious climax.
Meanwhile Serena Williams needed three sets to beat the aggressive Italian underdog, Camila Giorgi.
A shock looked on the cards when Giorgi powered her way to the first set 6-3, by taking one of only two break point opportunities, after Serena had squandered all five of hers.
But it was Williams who displayed the right kind of ruthlessness in the next two sets to take them 6-3, 6-4 and make it to her eleventh Wimbledon semi-final.
Serena said: ‘This is only my fourth tournament back and I don’t feel any pressure to win this or lose this, I just wanted to show I’m back. And I am back. But I still have a long way to go to be what I was.’
But maybe not as far as we had all previously thought. Serena is showing sustained periods of sparkling form to roll back the years. And this could be her most historic Wimbledon yet.
In the semis she will face Julia Goerges, who beat Kiki Bertens 3-6, 7-5, 6-1, winning the last five games to leave no doubt in the deciding set.
Meanwhile Angelique Kerber needed seven match points in the same extraordinary game to to beat Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 7-5.
Somehow the German managed to avoid beating herself up too much about all those missed chances and kept her head to finally wear her opponent down.
She will play Jelena Ostapenko, after the former French Open champion beat the feisty Dominika Cibulkova 7-5, 6-4.
Could it be a repeat of the 2016 Williams v Kerber final? Ostapenko may have a major say about that in current form.