Defying injury,Nadal beats Fritz to reach Wimbledon SF

London, July 7 (Agency) Overcoming an injury with an aim for grabbing a calendar Grand Slam, Rafael Nadal trounced Taylor Fritz to reach Wimbledon semi finals for an eighth time here on Wednesday. The Spaniard raised his game to win after losing the first set and came back strongly by capping off a victory in the second set after taking a medical timeout. He won 3-6, 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (10/4) in a match lasting four hours and 21 minutes. The 22-time Grand Slam champion will lock horns with Australian maverick Nick Kyrgios for the title clash on Sunday. Suffering an abdominal problem, Nadal thought that he would not be able to finish the match, but the spectators wanted him to continue. The second seed took an early 3-1 lead but lost five straight games to the 11th seed to lose the first set.

Nadal was grimacing with pain and hardly moved freely before he left the court for medical attention. Even after his return, Nadal’s movement on the court looked hampered but managed to hold the serve easily to lead 6-5 and a backhand volley got him the second set.The 36 years old Nadal handed Fritz a break early in the third set though he was swiftly moving across the court. He also conceded another break to the American who took the third set.In the fourth set, Nadal came out on the top after he struggled for consistency in a topsy-turvy five-break contest. Both players won their respective games 6-6 in the final set before Nadal feathered a backhand drop shot winner to break after a hard-fought seventh game. Fritz broke back straight away, pushing the set into a tiebreaker. Nadal soon took control and quickly raced to a 9-3 lead and completed the win on his second match point. Nadal is making efforts to win his 23rd Grand Slam title and equal Serena Williams in second place on the all-time list for most Grand Slam singles titles.