Tennis: Del Potro to face Nadal in quarterfinals, Kerber advances into semifinals

Juan Martin del Potro advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time since 2013 after beating Gilles Simon 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5).

The fifth-seeded del Potro failed to convert four match points when serving at 5-4 in the fourth set, but maintained his composure to close out the contest with his first opportunity in the
tiebreaker that followed.

The only fourth-round contest to be carried over to Tuesday lasted 4 hours, 24 minutes, making it the longest men's singles match of the tournament.

It is the first time since he reached the Australian Open and French Open quarterfinals in 2012 that del Potro has qualified for the last eight at consecutive Grand Slams.

He reached the semifinals at the All England Club in 2013, but four wrist surgeries -- three on the left -- almost made him retire.

The Argentine next faces two-time champion Rafael Nadal, who has reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time since 2011.

- Kerber Advances -

Angelique Kerber, the highest remaining seeded player in the women's draw at No. 11, finally converted on her seventh match point to advance to the Wimbledon semifinals Tuesday.

The two-time Grand Slam champion from Germany defeated No. 14 Daria Kasatkina 6-3, 7-5 on Centre Court to reach the semifinals at the All England Club for a third time.

Kerber had trouble closing things out. She served for the victory at 5-4, but got broken. When she served for it a second time, she needed to navigate a 16-point game that included five deuces and all of those match points, until forcing a forehand error on the last.

Kerber was the runner-up at Wimbledon in 2016, when she surged to No. 1 in the world rankings after winning the Australian Open and US Open. However, she took a big step back in 2017, going 1-12 against WTA top-20 players while she failed to win a singles title.

She has bounced back in 2018, winning more than 75 percent of her matches and a title while racking up 10 wins vs. top-20 players.

Kasatkina, who earlier this year became the fifth player in WTA history with multiple wins over a WTA No. 1 before her 21st birthday, had 31 unforced errors, including seven double-faults. She was in the last eight at Wimbledon for the first time.

Both players are the only two women to reach the second week at all three majors this year.

Kerber will next face 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, who became the first Latvian woman to reach a Wimbledon semifinal with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Dominika Cibulkova.

In a match that featured eight breaks of serve -- four in the first five games -- Ostapenko was able to elevate her game in the crucial moments.

She was the aggressor throughout, hitting 33 winners to Cibulkova's six, but also doubling her opponent's unforced error count.

Seven-time champion Serena Williams later faces 52nd-ranked Camila Giorgi of Italy, and 13th-seeded Julia Goerges faces Kiki Bertens as the pair both play in their first Wimbledon quarterfinal.




ESPN

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