Watch: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal advance to Wimbledon semifinal

July 11 (UPI) — Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will battle for a spot in the 2019 Wimbledon men’s final after winning their respective quarterfinal matchups Wednesday in London.

Nadal beat Sam Querrey in straight sets. Federer fought off Kie Nishikori in four sets at the All-England Club. Federer and Nadal will battle on center court for the first time in 11 years in the semifinals Friday in London. The winner of that match takes on Novak Djokovic or Roberto Bautista Agut in the men’s final.

“It’s a great feeling to be back in the semifinals,” Nadal told reporters. “To be back in that round playing at this level of tennis … now to play against Roger is always a unique situation.”

Federer beat Nishikori 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 in a match that took 2:36. Nishikori snatched seven of the opening eight points of the match to earn his early advantage. He earned a 2-0 lead in the first set before Federer got close at 3-2, 4-3 and 5-4, but was never able to tie the opening set.

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Federer broke Nishikori’s serve in the first game of the second set. He went on to win the first three game points. Nishikori won the fourth game, before Federer won thee consecutive points to win the set. Federer and Nishikori went back-and-forth in the third set. Nishikori won the fifth game to take a 3-2 advantage, before Federer won the next three games to take a 5-3 lead. Nishikori won the ninth game. Federer finished him off in the set with a forehand volley winner.

Nishikori led Federer four times in the fourth set, but Federer won the final two games of the set to win the match.

“Kei is a great returner,” Federer said. “When he finds his rhythm and is clear and knows what he wants to do … he can be very dangerous. If you serve the wrong spots at the same time and he’s able to connect. It’s tough.

“The beginning was hard for me. Finding the right serves at the right time. I don’t think I served poorly. The way points were rolling and my decision making in combination with his great shot making was just a tough combination early on.”

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Nadal beat Querrey 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 despite his American counterpart firing 22 aces, compared to his 10 aces. Querrey began the game with an ace against the Spaniard. Nadal won the next three games of the opening set before Querrey snatched the fifth game. Querrey and Nadal exchanged game points before Querrey leveled the set at 5-5 in the 10th game. Nadal won the final two games of the set to take an early lead.

Querrey won the first game of the second set, before Nadal bounced back to win the next three games. Querrey also won the fifth game of the set. Nadal finished the American off by winning the final three games to win the second set.

Nadal used a forehand winner to earn a 1-0 lead in the third set. He used another forehand winner to claim the second game. Querrey fired another ace to win the third game, before Nadal claimed the next three games to take a 5-1 lead in the set. Querrey scored his final ace of the match to win the seventh game, before Nadal closed out the match with another forehand winner.

“He could win the tournament,” Querrey said. “He didn’t play a warmup tournament coming in, so he’s probably fresh and feeling good. He has essentially cruised through to the semifinals.

“He’s playing Roger next, which is going to be tough. He has made the final here five times and he’s definitely a guy who could win it again.”

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