Tennis

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Juan Martin del Potro hits whopping 107mph winner vs Rafa Nadal at Wimbledon

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The great players of world tennis always seem to have more time than the rest of us.

Whether it's returning a 140mph serve, or scampering across court to return a drop-shot or applauding a stunning shot.

World number one Rafael Nadal could only smile and admire a stunning passing shot from his Argentine opponent Juan Martin del Potro in last night's epic quarter-final match.

Deep into the fifth set at two sets apiece, Del Potro was serving to stay in the match.

A service break down and trailing Nadal 5-3, like two heavyweight boxers going the distance, the 29-year-old Argentinian served up a solid first serve that Nadal returned.

Del Potro kept Nadal on the baseline with a powerful return. Nadal moved the ball to Del Potro's forehand, took a central position and waited for the world number four to come back at him.

And boy did he do that!

Del Potro's passing ground stroke was a cracker. It came off the racket sounding as though the ball had exploded and shot passed a bemused Nadal at 107 miles an hour.

The Spaniard stood and stared at where the ball had fleetingly been. It was a stunning forehand pass, and Nadal's wry smile of admiration told the tale. After nearly five hours on court, his immensely talented opponent was still capable of hurling down thunderbolts.

The BBC commentary team were equally stunned, as were those who took to social media to voice their admiration of such high quality tennis.

The 6'6" Del Potro has always had power in his armoury, and his speed-gun defying cross court shots are legendary. A simple search on YouTube showcases his ability to defy his opponents with mesmerising pace and precision.

Last night, he couldn't quite edge the Spaniard, who prevailed 7-5, 6-7 (7-9), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a little under five hours.

It has already been hailed as another Wimbledon classic and it always seems a shame that one of these two phenomenal talents must leave the world's greatest tennis showcase.

TENNIS-GBR-WIMBLEDON

But leave they must and so the Argentine will watch the semi-finals and finals from elsewhere.

Nadal, however, marches on and now faces the equally talented 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic.

Both former Wimbledon champions have taken time out of the game to repair and strengthen their injured bodies and this semi-final match-up is likely to serve up something similar to that witnessed on Centre Court last night. 

The other semi-final is a battle of the giants.

John Isner will take on Kevin Anderson after the tall powerhouses saw of Milos Raonic and Roger Federer respectively.

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Topics:
Andy Murray
Rafael Nadal
Juan Martin Del Potro
Tennis

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