Anderson gets rewards for hard work and Rafa edges out Delpo (Day 9 Wimbledon 2018).

  • ‘Big’ Kevin Anderson deserves this win. The South African has worked on his game over the years and in the last 12 months he has really reaped the rewards. He has now reached the final in New York last September and now made the semi-finals (minimum here) by taking out Roger Federer. The Fed-Express led by two sets to love and even had a match point in the third but Anderson showed some proper guts to dig in here and grind this out 13/11 in the decider. As the match wore on he out-served and out rallied Federer, particularly at the keys moments in the match. This is a testament to his attitude and application by taking the biggest scalp of his career, by some way. The one thing that can sometimes be thrown at him is that he may have got a little tense in the past under pressure. That certainly wasn’t the case here as he showed by continuously serving to stay in the match, especially in the decider. You have to feel a bit for The Fed-Express who took this loss on the chin but what a performance from Anderson.

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It looked as if Rafa was going to be following Federer out of SW19 when he trailed Delpo by two sets to one. Nadal had, by his standards, thrown away the chance to take a two-set lead when he double-faulted at *6/5 in the second set breaker. Delpo didn’t need a second invitation and levelled up. The match looked to be slipping away from the Spaniard as Del Potro broke to take the third at 6/4. The standard was immense and when Rafa took it to a fifth the tie could have gone either way. Once again Nadal’s ability to dig in deep saw him over the line but his transition to grass has been sweet. This lasted nearly 5 hours though, how much will it take out of him? What a great moment that was after match point where Delpo stayed down and Rafa went over to him. The amount of respect for each other also shown in the interviews is unreal. Two top geezers.

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Nadal will play Nole on Friday. The Serb looks to be finding form at just the right time. He needed a reminder against Kei Nishikori but when he put his foot down on the NOS it was plain sailing. Having taken the first set he lost his concentration after having a row with the umpire over ‘racket abuse’. For a while it looked like it could be costly. Nishikori levelled up and at 2/2 and 0/40 on the Djokovic serve in the third it looked a real possibility that the upset could happen. I would say Nishikori was in one of those breakpoints when he netted a backhand, aside from that Djokovic played them superbly as he did the rest of the match. From that position, Djokovic took sets three and four 6/2 6/3. It remains pretty impressive from him by and large. I think he is enjoying going under the radar.

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John Isner has made his first semi-final at a Slam and will play Kevin Anderson for a place in the final. Isner is still yet to drop his serve after beating Milos Raonic in four sets. The Canadian appeared to be suffering from a thigh problem which he confirmed later. It would be nice to see Raonic get back to the fully fit and healthy stage, there always seems to be a niggle or worse. Isner is such a calm character though, hopefully, he will start to get the credit he deserves one day. The same can be said about Anderson. Good on the pair them!

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Andy Del Potro

 

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