Rafael Nadal is one step closer to the Grand Slam table as he reaches the Wimbledon semi-finals for the eighth time after defeating American Taylor Fritz 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (4) on Tuesday.
Despite receiving a medical reprieve due to a tummy issue, the 36-year-old was able to hold out the 24-year-old in the match that lasted more than four hours on Center Court. He will face Nick Kyrgios in the semi-finals on Friday.
Nadal has already become the record holder for the most men’s tennis Grand Slam titles in history with 22 titles. This year he has already won the Australian Open and the French Open, which means he will only need Wimbledon and US Open titles to complete the historic round in the calendar, which has only achieved a title achieved by five former tennis players. His record in the 2022 Grand Slam is now 19-0, the second longest streak of his major career.
The Spaniard previously won Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010.
Leading 3-1, Nadal then lost the next five matches to Fritz as the American took the first set 6-3.
The Spaniard came out strong in the second set and won the first three matches. Fritz followed suit by winning the next three matches. After Nadal took a 4-3 lead, he was looked at by a coach because of a tummy problem. A few minutes later, he was back on court and captured the second set 7-5.
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The third set was similar to the first, with the two fighting back and forth before Fritz won 6-3, a 2-1 lead over the 22-time Grand Slam champion.
Nadal continued to dominate in the fourth set as he advanced 3-1. However, the 24-year-old came back to tie the set 5-5. Nadal managed to avoid a tiebreaker in another set by winning 7-5.
The fifth and final set was again back and forth, despite both players breaking each other once. The final set ends with a tiebreak, which is played until one player reaches 10 points in the last set.
Nadal dominated again by going 5-0 to start, then stopped Fritz to take the final set with a 10-4 tiebreak victory.
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