LONDON — Top-ranked Rafael Nadal outlasted Juan Martin del Potro in a crowd-pleasing five-set duel to reach his first Wimbledon semifinal since 2011.
In a match filled with entertaining rallies between two of the biggest hitters in the game, Nadal came from a set down to win 7-5, 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in 4 hours, 48 minutes — the longest match of this year’s tournament.
Del Potro finished with 77 winners to Nadal’s 67 but failed to convert any of his five break points in the fifth set. Instead it was the Spaniard who earned the only break of the decider and he closed out the win on his first match point — leaving the fifth-seeded Argentine sprawled on the grass in exhaustion.
Nadal will face Novak Djokovic next in a rematch of the 2011 final, the last time the Spaniard had even made the quarterfinals at the All England Club.
NOTTINGHAM, England — Former champion Donna Vekic finally got to play on grass at the Nottingham Open on Friday but had to overcome multiple rain delays and another switch indoors before reaching the semifinals.
The second-seeded Vekic defeated Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 6-4 in a match played on two surfaces as rain again played havoc with the schedule.
The opening two days were completely washed out before organizers decided to switch the first and second rounds indoors as rain fell for four consecutive days.
Vekic, who won the tournament in 2017, will play Germany’s Tatjana Maria in her third straight semifinal in Nottingham. Maria earlier defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 6-3, 7-6 (7) in the only match completed on grass so far at the tournament.
Also Friday, American Jennifer Brady defeated fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece 7-5, 6-3 to set up a semifinal against top-seeded Caroline Garcia.
Garcia rallied to beat Romanian qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse 4-6, 7-6, 6-1 in the last quarterfinal.
STUTTGART, Germany — Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime will play Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in the final of the Stuttgart Open.
The 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime progressed to his third tour-level final without playing on Saturday as compatriot Milos Raonic withdrew ahead of their semifinal due to back problems. The sixth-seeded Raonic lost last year’s final to Roger Federer, who opted not to defend his title.
Berrettini defeated Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 7-5 in the other semifinal. The 30th-ranked Berrettini will be going for this third tour title and his first on grass after victories in Budapest in April, and Gstaad, Switzerland, last year.
The 21st-ranked Auger-Aliassime previously reached championship matches in Rio de Janeiro in February and the Lyon Open in May – both on clay.