Del Potro sets up Nadal Wimbledon clash

Martyn Herman
Juan Martin Del Potro is relishing the chance to play Rafael Nadal on grass for the third ever time

Juan Martin del Potro has earned himself a chance to set the record straight against Rafael Nadal after finally sealing a place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.

Del Potro completed an epic 7-6 (7-1) 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 7-6 (7-5) win over Frenchman Gilles Simon after fading light interrupted their last-16 clash on Monday night with the fifth seed up two sets to one.

The Argentine was in danger of being dragged into a fifth set when he squandered four match points, one with a double-fault, at 5-4 having hit back from 1-3 down.

He eventually finished off the world No.53 in the third tiebreak to move into his second Wimbledon quarter-final where twice champion Nadal is waiting.

Del Potro was thrashed by the Spaniard in the French Open semi-finals last month but feels his game matches up better against the No.1 on grass despite losing their only two meetings on the surface.

"It will be a different match that we played in Paris a few weeks ago," Del Potro said.

"I will try to hold my service games most of the time. If I want to beat him, I have to come to the net very often and play hard with my forehands, with my backhands."

Del Potro trails Nadal 10-5 in head-to-head meetings - his five wins all coming on hard courts.

With the Wimbledon lawns baked and playing more bouncy than usual after a long spell of hot weather in London, it could be the 29-year-old's best chance to stop Nadal's impressive run.

Del Potro will have to be firing on all cylinders though - something he was clearly not doing against Simon in cooler conditions on Tuesday as he made a meal of the fourth set.

Del Potro trailed 1-3 but, at 5-5 in the tiebreaker, he fired down an ace to reach match point No.5 and this time Simon cracked, netting a backhand to the relief of the Argentine who roared his approval, happy to conserve energy before taking on Nadal.

"I think I will be in good condition. My body feels okay," del Potro said.

"It's a big chance for me to face Rafa tomorrow."