Djokovic's fall from grace found him ranked at 21st in the ATP World Rankings before the start of the tournament, but his path back to the top is being cleared, and he will face this year's French Open champion Nadal for the 52nd time in the pairs career.
At five hours and 53 minutes, it was the longest final ever at a Slam. "In some ways he deserves victory too", a gasping Nadal said after setting up a blockbuster semi-final with Novak Djokovic.
THEY say there's no such thing as a free lunch but if you share a name with one of two famous tennis players you could be enjoying just that this week. You know that you can not win against Novak if you don't play well.
Del Potro suffered more heartbreak after losing to Nadal in the semifinals at Roland Garros last month, his 52 unforced errors proving to be costly as the Spaniard claimed the only break in a pulsating final set.
Nadal cannot only level his head-to-head with the Serb, but also join him on three titles at Wimbledon - his first since 2010 - while crucially closing the gap with Roger Federer to just two Slams in the all-time leaderboard.
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.
"Congratulations to Kevin Anderson for reaching the men's singles semi-finals", Ramaphosa tweeted on Thursday. He seems to have returned to form, as he has been excellent at Wimbledon.
After a hectic clay-court season where he won the Monte Carlo, Rome and French Open titles, Nadal made a decision to go into Wimbledon without playing a warm-up event on grass for the second year running. He said the only time he has played on Centre Court was during the London Olympics, and admitted: "I have no clue what that court looks like".
That four-hour and 48-minute epic put him into his sixth Wimbledon semi-final and 28th at the majors.
Both men are in the semi-finals at Wimbledon for the first time.
One that is reminiscent of Nadal's five-set classic against Roger Federer in the 2008 Wimbledon final.
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.
Their clash, however, may not be easy on the eye.
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.