Juan Martin Del Potro scraps past Simon to set up Nadal clash

Milos Raonic

With world number one Rafael Nadal waiting for the victor, Tuesday's fourth set, played in much cooler conditions than the first three the day before, turned into a mini-epic before Del Potro eventually prevailed 7-6 (1) 7-6 (5) 5-7 7-6 (5).

Del Potro meanwhile made the last four in 2013 before being beaten by Novak Djokovic, who awaits Nadal in the semi-finals this time around.

"I think it was great quality tennis and in the final set there were some fantastic points", said 2008 and 2010 champion Nadal.

The timing of this one - a match that's decider was described by Andy Murray in the BBC commentary box as "one of the best sets of tennis I have ever seen live" - was somewhat unfortunate as it clashed with England's World Cup semi-final.

"I'm sorry for Juan Martin". He's an awesome opponent, an wonderful player, in some ways he deserves the victory too'.

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The fifth seed had led by two sets on Monday but Simon grabbed the third set before fading light ended play.

And Nadal reiterated his respect for Del Potro in his own post-match interview.

Del Potro raised his game again, though, claiming his third tie-break success of the match to book his date with Nadal. Nadal broke for 3-2 but had to save break points in the sixth and eighth games before securing a memorable victory.

Del Potro was in danger of being dragged into a fifth set when he squandered four match points, one with a double-fault, at 5-4 having hit back from 1-3 down. He played very smart point. A stunning 24-shot rally ended with Del Potro pulling off the most sublime diving volley and avoiding facing a break point.

The action continued to roll in on the Del Potro serve and it was Nadal's turn to slip flat onto his back but he picked himself up and rasped a backhand victor to snatch the crucial break. "I am just excited to be in the semis".

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