There was no stopping Rafael Nadal on Wednesday as he soaked up 22 thunderbolt aces to flatten Sam Querrey 7-5 6-2 6-2 to set up the Wimbledon semi-final the whole sporting world had been waiting to see – a showdown with great rival Roger Federer.
The Spaniard made a jaw-dropping start to his quarter-final as he won all 12 points during his first three service games.
Querrey, a semi-finalist here in 2017, finally got a foothold on Nadal’s serve in the eighth game but making any form of sustained attack proved to be mission impossible.
A warning for a time violation threw third seed Nadal, who had already squandered four set points, off his service stride in the 10th game and allowed Querrey to break back for 5-5.
But that was as good as it got for the unseeded American as his serve might have been on fire but everything else was misfiring and he bowed out after the Spaniard whipped a forehand winner on match point to make sure it was game on with Federer in Friday’s semi-final.
Nadal’s victory meant it was the first time more than one Spanish man had reached the Wimbledon semis in the same year, with Roberto Bautista Agut also through to the last four after he beat Argentine Guido Pella in an earlier quarter-final.