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Rafael Nadal has big advantage vs. Juan Martin del Potro in Wimbledon quarterfinals
WIMBLEDON, England — A quick look at the men’s quarterfinal lineup for Wednesday identifies the most intriguing match in the offing will be between world No. 1 Rafael Nadal and fourth-ranked Juan Martin del Potro.
In fact, Nadal, who is seeded here No. 2 behind eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, and the fifth-seeded del Potro were given the prime second-match slot on Centre Court. They follow the match between 12th-seeded Novak Djokovic and 24th-seeded Kei Nishikori.
That decision finds Federer in unusual circumstances. He’s been relegated to play eighth-seeded Kevin Anderson as the first match on Court 1, the secondary show court. The last time that Federer played on Court 1 was a 2015 quarterfinal against Frenchman Gilles Simon, according to Wimbledon officials.
The second match on Court 1 will be between ninth-seeded John Isner, the lone American left in the men’s draw, and 13th-seeded Milos Raonic.
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If past performance is an indicator, Nadal should be preparing for a trip to the semifinals.
He holds a weighty 10-5 lead in career matches over del Potro and won their two latest meetings in the recent French Open semifinal and 2017 U.S. Open semifinal. Nadal went on to win his 16th Grand Slam trophy at that U.S. Open.
Del Potro, playing at a career-high ranking, sees the Nadal encounter as a golden opportunity. He joins Guillermo Vilas and David Nalbandian as the only Argentines to reach the quarterfinals multiple times at all four Grand Slams.
“Good signal for myself. I’m doing a good season already,” said del Potro, who won his lone Grand Slam title at the 2009 U.S. Open. “I’m very proud to be in the last eight players of this tournament. Everybody wants to be there, for sure.
“Also, it’s an honor to play against the No. 1 in the world tomorrow for a place in the semifinals. I will try to enjoy.”