Big W:Nadal dumps Fish to set up semi-final date with Murray

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Rafael Nadal
London, Jun 30: Further affirming his status as one of the toughest guys on international tennis circuit, Rafael Nadal crushed America's Mardy Fish 6-3 6-3 5-7 6-4 to cruise into the semi-finals of Wimbledon 2011. This despite an injured foot that initially threatened to put an end to his Wimbledon campaign this year.

Nadal got off to a flyer against Fish, and broke him in the opening game before pouncing upon another chance to win the first set. The second was more or less similar to the first one as Nadal upped the ante with his booming serves and swift moves.

But there appeared to be a twist in the tale as Fish fought back admirably well to steal the third set from Nadal. Probably that was the only time one felt, Nadal's foot injury was showing up as he moved a bit slowly than he normally does.

But that was it, as Nadal who was playing after taking some pain-killer injections, sealed the fourth set and the match with a 6-4 margin. In the semi-finals, Nadal will now take on Andy Murray who is trying to became the first British to lif the Wimbledon in more than seven decades.

Speaking at the post-match conference, Nadal said, "My foot is not fine. But we are in quarter-finals of Wimbledon. It's an emergency, so I had to play. I have pain on the foot. I cannot run in perfect conditions without sleep (anesthetic) in the foot. With the anesthetic there I don't feel the pain."

The World Number One added, "After the first two sets I probably played a little too defensive but I am happy to be in the semi-final, it is a dream for me."

Speaking about his impending semi-final encounter with Murray, Nadal said, "He is playing really very well. He is a fantastic player, but after that I think he has a fantastic character. He is a very good guy and we play Playstation a lot off the court so we are friends."

Fish who had not dropped a set in his Wimbledon 2011 campaign until his encounter with Nadal, rued the lack of rhythm and said, "I've served exceptionally well here this week in all four matches before this one. Maybe it's just the surroundings. I think I overserved at times, trying to go too hard, too quick. I know what I do wrong and try to correct it. Just never got a rhythm at all."

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