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Nadal in semis as Fish sunk

sports Updated: Jun 30, 2011 00:07 IST

AFP
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Defending Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal booked his place in the semifinals on Wednesday, overcoming American 10th seed Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4.

The Spanish world number one, who suffered an injury scare in his fourth round victory over Juan Martin Del Potro on Monday, showed no sign of discomfort as he eased past his Florida-based opponent.

Nadal, chasing an 11th Grand Slam title at Wimbledon this week, will now face British fourth seed Andy Murray in Friday's semifinals.

Nadal had not lost in five previous encounters against the 29-year-old Fish, and his perfect record was never seriously threatened.

Fish had dropped only one service game in his four matches leading to the quarterfinal, but his game suffered a brutal mauling from Nadal's groundstrokes as the 25-year-old raced into a two-set lead.

Fish was broken three times in the first set alone as Nadal took total control, and the American journeyman was soon in trouble in the second set.

The decisive break came in the fourth game, when Fish fought back from 0-40 down only to see Nadal break him yet again.

With Fish making little impression on Nadal's serve it was left to the top seed to serve out for the set at 6-3.

The third set began ominously for Fish he was broken in the opening game. But Fish suddenly began to find his range, and against the run of play conjured up a vital break.

Serving with far greater consistency, Fish grew with confidence. The set went with serve until the 12th game, when the American produced a wonderful return to take two break points before clinching the set with a driven forehand.

But Nadal was quickly back on track in the fourth set, securing a break in the third game to regain the initiative which he was never to surrender.