By Emmanuel Okogba
Rafael Nadal outplayed Taylor Fritz, proved class and dashed the hopes of the American to reach Wimbledon semi-final on Wednesday at centre court.
Fritz was attempting to become the first man from his country to reach the penultimate stage at sw19 since John Isner did in 2018.
Nadal won 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10-4) to end Fritz’s run of straight sets victories.
Nadal’s luck has not shone at Wimbledon since 2010 when he defeated Tomáš Berdych of the Czech Republic. Since then, the closest he has come of recent were semi-final finishes in 2018 and 2019. But, the victory is a demonstration of the fantastic run he has had this year – a run that has earned him two Grand Slam titles already.
After dropping the first set, the Spaniard roared back in the second. Fritz again won the third in what was a ping-pong affair. Nadal knew he had to win the fourth and did exactly that, winning by the same margin he did in the second.
Both men pushed each other the whole nine yards and had to find a winner in a 10-point tiebreak after playing 6-6 in the deciding set which Nadal won 10-4.
Nadal will meet Nick Kyrgios in one of the semi-finals on Friday. The controversial Australian defeated his opponent, Cristian Garín from Chile in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final.