Wimbledon: Nadal sets up dream Federer semi after downing Querrey

Sam Querrey showed resolve in the first set but was ultimately outclassed by Rafael Nadal, who faces Roger Federer in the Wimbledon semis.

It will be first meeting between Nadal and Federer at the All England Club after the epic 2008 Wimbledon final.   -  Getty Images

Rafael Nadal will face Roger Federer in a dream Wimbledon semifinal after safely negotiating his way past Sam Querrey in the last eight on Wednesday.

The Spaniard has fought through a tough draw, with Nadal not exactly keeping his counsel over his grievances, and this tie was certainly no walkover given seasoned campaigner Querrey has previous at Wimbledon.

Big-serving Querrey holds wins over Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray at SW19 and Nadal had plenty of food for thought during an exhilarating opening set on No. 1 Court.

From there, though, it was largely plain sailing as Nadal celebrated a 7-5 6-2 6-2 triumph to book a showdown with old foe Federer, who earned a 100th Wimbledon match win by beating Kei Nishikori.

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It will mark the first encounter between the pair at Wimbledon since their stunning 2008 final, which Nadal - who has now qualified for November's ATP Finals - won in five breathless sets. That was a third straight title match at the tournament between two of tennis' modern greats.

A simple pass in game three on Wednesday gave Nadal the early break, but Querrey – playing a third Wimbledon quarter-final – did not wilt.

The 31-year-old saw a couple of break points go begging and had to save a couple of set points in game eight before levelling when a storming backhand forced Nadal to go wide.

It was a feeling of deja vu when Nadal broke straight back and gave up a couple of break points when serving to take the opener. This time, though, the 18-time slam winner fended off Querrey's resistance and, following a mammoth point, earned the set after 58 minutes.

Querrey's resolve was clearly on the wane when Nadal followed a punishing forehand with a drop shot to break for a 2-1 lead in the second.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Nadal had Querrey on the run in game seven to earn a couple more opportunities to break, the first of which was duly taken when the American went long.

There was no way back from there and a familiar pattern followed in the third, Nadal making the immediate break with a perfectly angled forehand.

Another forehand winner for a 4-1 lead ensured there was no way back for Querrey and set the path for the latest instalment in one of tennis' greatest rivalries.

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Rafael Nadal [3] bt Sam Querrey 7-5 6-2 6-2

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS
Nadal - 44/12
Querrey - 38/22

ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS
Nadal - 10/2
Querrey - 22/3

BREAK POINTS WON
Nadal - 6/16
Querrey - 1/7

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE
Nadal - 60
Querrey - 61

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE
Nadal - 82/54
Querrey - 73/28

TOTAL POINTS
Nadal - 106
Querrey - 78