Nadal sets up dream Federer semi after taking down Querrey at Wimbledon
Rafael Nadal will face Roger Federer in a dream Wimbledon semi-final 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.
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.
Rafael Nadal  bt Sam Querrey 7-5 6-2 6-2
Nadal - 44/12
Querrey - 38/22
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
Nadal - 106
Querrey - 78