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Rafael Nadal hurting, Roger Federer cruising

June 27, 2011 |  4:46 pm

Rafael-nadal_600

Rafael Nadal is scared.

The defending champion and No. 1-seed player at Wimbledon landed awkwardly in the first set of his fourth-round match Monday against Juan Martin del Potro, causing the Spaniard to yelp and grab his foot.

"I felt terrible," Nadal said of the moment when he landed in the 12th game of the first set.

"I felt that I broke my foot at that moment. I asked for the trainer at that moment. . . . I seriously didn't know, at that moment in the match, I didn't know if I will have the chance to continue playing."

Nadal did continue playing and he beat the 24th-seeded del Potro, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4. But afterward Nadal didn't sound confident about his prospects of playing his quarterfinal match against 10th-seeded American Mardy Fish.

"The pain stayed with me for the next points for sure," Nadal said, "and for all the match."

Nadal described the feeling as intense when the injury occurred. "I pushed hard with the forehand . . . I felt something that like crushed there in the back of the foot. So I didn't know what was going on."

He also said at that moment he didn't expect to still be in the draw. "I thought that I'm never going to win the match when it happened," he said. "I am very happy to be through, winning against one of the best players in the world. I think it was a fantastic match. But I'm worried for sure. I'm going to do an MRI. We'll see what's going on. I cannot predict the future."

Federer didn't have the physical test faced by Nadal but he dropped a set for the first time in the tournament to Mikhail Youzhny before defeating the Russian, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.

"I thought even though I lost the first set, it was very good tennis," said Federer who is aiming for his seventh Wimbledon title.

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Tuesday's featured matches at Wimbledon

Photos: 2011 Wimbledon

-- Diane Pucin, reporting from Wimbledon

Photo: Top-seeded Rafael Nadal tries to regain his composure after injuring a foot during the first set of his fourth-round match against Juan Martin del Potro on Monday at Wimbledon. Credit: Felipe Trueba / EPA

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