Rafael Nadal is confident his body will hold up after he came through a gruelling encounter with Taylor Fritz 3-6 7-5 3-6 7-5 7-6 (10-4) to reach the last four at Wimbledon (Nadal 6/1 – Wimbledon Outright).
The pair thrilled Centre Court as Fritz piled on the pressure, while Nadal demonstrated his trademark resilience despite suffering from both foot and abdominal injuries, the latter requiring a medical timeout after the second set.
In the end, the 22-time major champion, who is aiming for a calendar Grand Slam after winning both the Australian and French Opens, prevailed, winning the final set tie-breaker 10-4 to maintain hopes of emulating the last man to do so, Rod Laver, in 1969.
The 36-year-old now has 48 hours to recover in time for his semi-final and is confident that whatever the shape he returns to Centre Court in on Friday, he will be able to adapt.
“The body (in) general is fine, but in the abdominal something is not going well, being honest,” he said. “I had to find a way to serve a little bit different. For a lot of moments I was thinking I would not be able to finish the match but the crowd, the energy, thanks for that.”Nadal will play Nick Kyrgios on Friday after he beat Cristian Garin 6-4 6-3 7-6 (7-5).
Kyrgios is through to his maiden singles Grand Slam semi-final and the ever-honest Australian, 7/1 to win the tournament, admitted that even he was surprised by his progress.
“An amazing atmosphere again. I never thought I’d be in the semi-final of a Grand Slam. I thought that ship had sailed – that I may have wasted that window in my career.
“I’m really happy I was able to come out here with my team and put on a performance.”
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In the women’s event, Simona Halep continued her revival as she booked her semi-final spot with a 6-2 6-4 win over Amanda Anisimova in just an hour and three minutes.
The Romanian previously considered retiring last year due to injuries but has rediscovered both her fitness and her love for the game and is into her first Grand Slam semi since winning at SW19 in 2019.
She will next face Elena Rybakina, who beat Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic 4-6 6-2 6-3 to become the first Kazakh to reach a singles semi-final at one of the majors.
Despite Rybakina’s remarkable run, it is Halep who is the EVS favourite to win her third Grand Slam and she admits she is playing close to her best tennis.
“It’s great to be back in the semi-finals, I’m very emotional right now,” said Halep, who has won her past 12 matches at Wimbledon. I’m playing the best tennis since I won here. I’m building that confidence back and it is good right now.”
Thursday’s other semi-final in the women’s draw features 1/8 Ons Jabeur against 5/1 Tatjana Maria.
Betfred are offering a number of Online Boosts for Thursday’s play, with 7/4 available on both Halep and Jabeur to win in straight sets.
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