Juan Martin del Potro advanced to the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time since 2013 after beating Gilles Simon 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5). Del Potro let two break-back points slip in the sixth game and, although his cause looked doomed, he forced Nadal to save three times for 5-3. Both players have settled into a nice rhythm in the opening set and it was Nadal who kept a high level in the entire set, serving at 75% and losing only eight points on serve, avoiding deuces or tie breaks to keep the pressure on Delpo.
The French Open champion will next face Novak Djokovic in a clash of two former champions following the Serbian's success over Kei Nishikori earlier on Wednesday. The set stayed on serve until Del Potro secured the first break point for a 4-3 lead.
Del Potro threw everything he could at Nadal in a pulsating match and even conjured the shot of the tournament as he acrobatically dived to his right to hit a fizzing forehand volley that ended a spellbinding 23-shot rally.
The fourth-round match resumed on Tuesday afternoon after bad light had stopped play on Monday with the Argentinian leading by two sets to one.
Nadal maintained his typically aggressive approach and was leaping while punching the air after a blistering return whistled past Vesely to put him a break up at 3-2 in the second set.
The supporter seemed pretty delighted to be so up close and personal with one of the greatest players of all time, who went on to win a dramatic five-setter 7-5 6-7 4-6 6-4 6-4 in a match lasting the best part of five hours.
Del Potro was straining to stay in touch in almost every point, and his gambling instincts drove him to explore the white lines.
Nadal soon returned the favour with a break of his own, before another hold left Del Potro rattled.
"In the end the court was a little bit slippery because the sun goes out and it was humid on the grass", Del Potro added.
'I am very happy the way that I survived a lot of important points in that fifth set.
"Rafa is a fighter".