Rafael Nadal's rounding into the sort of form needed to win a second consecutive Wimbledon title. And his path to that peak got a tiny bit easier, too.
Nadal dispatched American Mardy Fish in four sets, 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, and did so with his typical mix of defense and offense. Fish committed 27 unforced errors to Nadal's 13, and the Spaniard broke Fish on six of 12 attempts. Fish also won just 40% of his second serve points, a testament to how quickly and thoroughly Nadal can dismantle an opponent's diminished serve.
Nadal will face Andy Murray in the semifinals on Friday, but his title chances got a boost when longtime rival Roger Federer bowed out to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday. Nadal has fallen to Federer twice at Wimbledon, both in finals.
And as for Nadal's worries about Murray, the Scot who is playing as well as ever and will have the full-throated support of the Wimbledon crowd on Friday? Nadal dismantled Murray in straight sets in the Wimbledon semifinals in 2010.
Stay tuned to this StoryStream for more match results from Day 9 of Wimbledon 2011.