Of the 61 first serves he landed in, he won 52, and was broken only three times en route to a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over the 2014 US Open finalist.
"This photo says it all", wrote Juan Martin del Potro on his Instagram page. The match against Del Potro saw him drop a set at Wimbledon for the first time this year. In a 4hr 48min tug of war, Nadal overcame Del Potro 7-5, 6-7 (7), 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to reach his first Wimbledon semi-final since 2011.
After so much speculation about a possible Wimbledon final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, 10 years after their last, the tennis world instead will get a semifinal featuring another outstanding rivalry: Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic.
The six-hour match was the ultimate display of physical excellence as both traded blows in high-quality rallies for five sets of jaw-dropping tennis.
The pair have met on 51 occasions in the past - with Djokovic narrowly leading their head-to-head by one win - though this is just their fourth encounter on a grass court.
Those named Kevin Anderson are being offered a free "victory feast" for them and two friends - in honour of his three-set victory.
But back came Nadal to level before an enthralling final set which was punctuated by great shot-making and spectacular dives and falls by both players.
"A very emotional match".
Del Potro said: 'I think I will be in good condition.
Simon saved a fourth match point when he threw the kitchen sink at a forehand return and he eventually took his fourth break point to level at 5-5.
For the former US Open champion, who dived, tumbled and slipped as he tried to contain the two-time Wimbledon champion it was an 11th defeat in 16 meetings with the Spaniard.
The market is finding it hard to split the duo, going [1.97] on Isner to triumph, and I don't think this price on the big American is far from being value. My body feels okay.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his quarter final match against Japan's Kei Nishikori.
"Anything could have happened, so this is a big achievement for me to get to the semi-finals at Wimbledon". He's playing well. The only way to try to win it is to play very well.
Isner is 8-3 against Anderson, and this will be his first career semifinal at a major.
Rafael Nadal is only too familiar with the adrenaline rush that surges through his body after winning an electrifying five-set thriller in four hours and 48 minutes on Wimbledon's Centre Court.
"I didn't want to finish the match like that", said Del Potro, who hit 77 winners.
"I just kept saying "today is going to be your day".
Nadal was two sets to one down before fighting back to win in five sets - and nearly five hours - to reach his first SW19 semi-final since 2011.