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Rafael Nadal wins fitness battle to face Mardy Fish


Spain's Rafael Nadal

Spain's Rafael Nadal

Spain's Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal has declared himself fit to resume the defence of his Wimbledon title against Mardy Fish today.

The Spaniard suffered an injury to his left foot during the first set of his 3-1 fourth-round win over Juan Martin Del Potro on Monday, saying afterwards that a "crushed" bone could end his tournament prematurely.

But after having an MRI scan, the 25-year-old has been passed fit to play.

"During the match I thought I had something serious but as the match went through the pain got better and thankfully the tests don't show an injury," he said.

Nadal's positive outlook came as a stark contrast to his mood on Monday.

After what was a bruising and gruelling four-hour, four-set encounter on Centre Court, the top seed admitted he came close to retiring hurt near the end of the first set after suffering the injury while hitting a routine forehand.

He spent a 10-minute period of treatment shaking his head but, after having tape applied to the affected area to redirect the pain, he battled on with the injury to take a 7-6 (8/6) 3-6 7-6 (7/4) 6-4 win.

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Meanwhile, Australian boy wonder Bernard Tomic hopes the apprentice can topple the master when he meets Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals today.

Djokovic, world number two and star man on tour so far in 2011 with just one loss from 46 matches, has taken 18-year-old Tomic under his wing and recruited him as a regular practice partner.

Tomic is still making his way on the tour after a rocky start that saw him suspended by the ITF for walking off court during a match and also have a high-profile falling out with then Australian number one Lleyton Hewitt.

"Novak is a champion," Tomic said. "He's obviously won grand slams. My relationship's really good with him. I've hit with him a lot of times. He's a cool guy."

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