World number one Rafael Nadal set-up a mouthwatering Wimbled semi-final against old rival Novak Djokovic after battling back to beat Juan Martin del Potro in a Centre Court thriller on Wednesday.
Nadal, 32, and Djokovic, 31, meet in a highly anticipated Wimbledon semi-final at about 16:30 BST on Friday.
They have met on 51 previous occasions, but not at this stage of a Slam since the 2014 French Open semi-finals.
The winner will play either John Isner or Kevin Anderson in Sunday’s final.
Spain’s Nadal and Serbia’s Djokovic have won 29 Grand Slam titles between them, including five previous victories at SW19.
The pair have only met twice at Wimbledon, Nadal winning their 2007 semi-final when Djokovic retired hurt, the Serb gaining revenge in the 2011 final.
“There is no one other match in the history of tennis that has been played more than our match. That’s a big thing,” said second seed Nadal.
“We always played in important stages, important places.”
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While Nadal’s rivalry with Roger Federer may be considered as the most engaging, it is the Spaniard’s rivalry with Djokovic which is the most enduring.
The pair have produced some of the greatest matches ever seen – which include memorable Grand Slam finals and career-defining victories.
Djokovic leads 26-25 in their head-to-head, dominating in recent times with seven victories in the past nine matches.
“It is always a big challenge facing Novak,” said Nadal.
“He is one of the more complex players that I ever saw in our sport. It is always a big test.
“You know that you can’t win against him if you don’t play very well.”
The 12th seed has looked focused and close to his best form on his way to reaching a first Slam semi-final since the 2016 US Open.
“I’m really not thinking about being an underdog or being a favorite,” he said.
“I just try to build the momentum. Obviously, I’ve been very pleased with the way I’ve played so far on the grass court season.”
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