"He deserved to win today". A great quality of tennis, especially in the last set, some fantastic points, .
Like Federer and Anderson, Nadal and del Potro Nadal slugged it out for more than four pulsating hours before Spain's 17-times major victor finally landed the knockout punch. "I have to come to the net very often and play hard with my forehands, with my backhands, and try to take all the chances".
He was superb in coming back from a set down to beat home favourite Kyle Edmund in the third round on Saturday, and then in bouncing back to beat Kei Nishikori in the quarter-finals on Wednesday after dropping the second set. "After nearly five hours of running and playing at this high level against the No. 1 in the world and lost, it's not good for me".
None of his opening four opponents were ranked inside the world top 50, meaning he faced a huge jump in class against world number four Juan Martin del Potro in Wednesday's semi-final.
In a match that delivered quality throughout, Nadal recovered from two sets to one down to treat the Wimbledon crowd to a match few will forget.
It was as if that out-of-the-blue news threw the Spaniard off his stride and he fluffed his lines to drop his serve.
Nadal worked the angles and moved superbly from the start, but the heavy-hitting Del Potro frustrated him by saving the first two break-point opportunities of the match before holding to level at 4-4.
But the second seed stayed alive by taking the fourth set before the gripping drama continued in an electrifying deciding set in which both players were left diving after volleys and slipping over as they sprinted after blinding winners.
"After five years of first-round losses here, I think I've grown a lot to get to the semi-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.
A tired Del Potro, a semi-finalist in 2013, finished with 33 aces and 77 winners but even those impressive statistics were not enough. "I think Rafa, in the end deserves to win once again".
The roaring Centre Court fans who gave him a standing ovation would not disagree.