LONDON – Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, world No. 4, defeated world No. 53 Gilles Simon of France 7-6 (1), 7-6 (5), 5-7, 7-6 (5) on Tuesday to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time since 2013, setting up a clash with world No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain.
Fifth-seeded Del Potro led Simon two sets to one before the match was suspended as darkness fell Monday evening, but Simon pulled ahead 3-1 when play resumed on Tuesday.
However, the Argentine victor sealed his win after another 70 minutes on Tuesday, ending a marathon battle that totaled four hours and 24 minutes.
Del Potro fired 78 winners, including 27 aces, in the longest match yet in this year’s tournament.
On Wednesday, Del Potro will face Nadal, a two-time Wimbledon champion and 17-time Grand Slam champion, who returns to the Wimbledon quarterfinals after seven years.
Del Potro will not have a day of rest following his lengthy duel with Simon, giving Nadal an edge in Wednesday’s fight for a spot in the semifinal round.