Rafael Nadal kept alive his bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam on Wednesday with a 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4) victory over 11th-seeded Taylor Fritz in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in London.
The second-seeded Spaniard has won this year’s Australian Open and French Open. He is looking for his third Wimbledon title (2008, 2010) and 23rd major championship of his career.
Nadal, 36, overcame a medical timeout in the second set after struggling with an abdominal issue. He was able to persevere and dispatch Fritz in four hours and 20 minutes.
“It was a tough afternoon against a great player,” Nadal said in his on-court interview. “All the credit to Taylor, he has been playing great during the whole season. From my personal side, it was not an easy match at all, so I’m just very happy to be in the semifinals.”
Nadal punched his ticket to an eighth career semifinal appearance at Wimbledon. He will face Australian Nick Kyrgios, who posted a 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (5) win over Cristian Garin of Chile on Wednesday.
Nadal has won his last three encounters against Kyrgios and holds a 6-3 all-time edge in the series.
Top-seeded Novak Djokovic will square off against ninth-seeded Cameron Norrie of Great Britain in the other semifinal.
Fritz won the final five games to capture the first set before Nadal bounced back in the second set despite requiring a medical timeout while holding a 4-3 edge.
Fritz broke twice en route to capturing the third set, however Nadal answered by winning 12 of the last 14 points in the fourth.
While advancing at Wimbledon is somewhat customary for Nadal, Kyrgios reached his first Grand Slam semifinal after toppling Garin in two hours and 13 minutes.
Kyrgios, 27, became the first Australian man to advance to the semifinals at a major since Lleyton Hewitt reached the final four at the 2005 U.S. Open.
“An amazing atmosphere out here again. I just never thought that I would be in the semifinals at a Grand Slam. I thought that ship had sailed,” Kyrgios said in his on-court interview. “I didn’t go about things great earlier in my career and may have missed my window. I am really proud of the way I have come back out here.”
The 40th-ranked Kyrgios became the lowest-ranked men’s semifinals and first unseeded men’s semifinal at Wimbledon since 2008. Then world-No. 75 Marat Safin of Russia and No. 94 Rainer Schuettler of Germany accomplished the feat that year.
Kyrgios recorded 10 aces over the first two sets to gain control of the match. He then overcame a 3-5 deficit to win the tiebreak before collapsing to the ground to celebrate his victory. He finished with 17 aces.
–Field Level Media
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