World number 1 Rafael Nadal has reached his first Wimbledon semi-final since 2011 and the 28th overall, becoming the fifth player in the Open era with so many Grand Slams after an epic 7-5 6-7 4-6 6-4 6-4 triumph over Juan Martin del Potro in four hours and 48 minutes!
But Del Potro ended the match flat on his face, the latest in a succession of slips, and Nadal explained that the conditions underfoot were to blame.
A magnificent sliced backhand victor put the two-time Wimbledon champion a set away from the quarter-finals, but a rare unforced error from Nadal handed Vesely a first break.
And Nadal rued failing to take control against del Potro much earlier.
But there were flourishes to Nadal's play too, notably another hotdog shot and also a wicked forehand victor that cut across the court and dipped dramatically onto the line.
The supporter seemed pretty delighted to be so up close and personal with one of the greatest players of all time, who went on to win a dramatic five-setter 7-5 6-7 4-6 6-4 6-4 in a match lasting the best part of five hours.
Nadal caught Del Potro napping in the fifth game of the fourth set, breaking him to love to lead 3-2.
"Rafa is a fighter", del Potro said. Del Potro made him pay as he pounced on his first chance to raise the prospect of another upset on day nine. Eventually, things went to a tiebreak Del Potro won to capture the set.
The powerful Vesely broke for a 3-2 lead when a rare Nadal forehand error drew gasps of surprise from the crowd. A blistering, nearly joyous whipped forehand sealed the set for Nadal and they went to a fifth.
'In the third set he started to play better from the baseline and I had couple of mistakes with the game I lost. The hard-serving American beat Milos Raonic of Canada 6-7 (5), 7-6 (7), 6-4, 6-3 to set up a meeting with Federer's conqueror Kevin Anderson in the last four.
The 33-year-old Simon saved a fourth match point when he threw the kitchen sink at a forehand return and the world number 53 eventually took his fourth break point to level at 5-5.