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"I am just excited to be in the semis".
However, Nadal made a strong comeback in the second set to win it 7-5.
Playing Djokovic was the sternest test and he came through a dramatic five-setter dubbed the greatest clay-court match of all-time by Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe. I think I played really good tennis today. "Keep on going, you can do this".
"Wow, it's pretty wonderful", Goerges said.
Soon enough, del Potro was down on his belly after one last slip, as Nadal finished off the victory with a volley.
He reached a first Wimbledon semi-final by beating eight-time champion Roger Federer on Wednesday, fighting back from two sets down to earn the biggest win of his career. "But every match starts from zero".
In one epic 14-point game early in the deciding set, such was the desperation of both combatants that del Potro twice left the ground trying to retrieve balls at the net before Nadal went hurtling over a barrier, into the stands and onto jaw-dropping spectators' laps.
Every single set was hard-earned, with Nadal taking the first 7-5 before Del Potro evened things up on a tiebreak in the second.More news: "Don't Look Back In Anger" - England fans' emotional praise following Croatia defeat
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.
When he finally prevailed after four hours and 48 minutes, Nadal - and del Potro - received a rousing standing ovation from the packed crowd including another living legend left-hander Rod Laver in the Royal Box.
The crowd were on their feet when Del Potro took off to end a magnificent point with a diving volley in a marathon third game, yet Nadal got the break with a sublime cross-court victor in the next service game.
This will be the 52nd meeting between 17-time major champion Nadal and 12-time major champ Djokovic, more than any other two men ever have played each other.
"I will try to hold my service games most of the time".
Nadal saved three break points before an imperious forehand victor put him 5-3 up and he put away a simple volley to finally finish off Del Potro, then made his way around the net to embrace his tired opponent as he lay on the court following another tumble.
Nadal, the 2008 and 2010 champion, will now face three-time victor Djokovic for the 52nd time with the Serb holding a 26-25 edge.