LONDON, United Kingdom– Juan Martin del Potro says he is proud to be playing in the same era as Rafael Nadal, but that burning admiration won’t prevent him from trying to derail the Spaniard’s Wimbledon campaign on Wednesday.
Del Potro returned to the quarter-finals at the All England Club for the first time since 2013 when he defeated Gilles Simon of France 7-6 (7/1), 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 7-6 (7/5) on Tuesday.
Now the Argentine faces two-time Wimbledon champion Nadal, who allowed him just six games when they last met in the Roland Garros semi-finals in June.
That straight sets loss was the fifth-seeded del Potro’s 10th defeat in 15 meetings against the former world number one.
“Everybody admires Rafa as a competitor. He’s a fighter. He’s always trying to be positive and thinking in the next ball. Doesn’t matter if he misses or not,” said Del Potro.
“It’s too tough to see a guy in front of the net when they are always positive during the game. As a player, it’s amazing.
“He’s the No. 1. He has been making records every Grand Slam. I’m very proud to be in the same era as him and Roger Federer.”