Novak Djokovic attends a practice session in London on Sunday. Reuters
The 37-year-old Swiss can clinch a record-extending 21st major if he manages to break free of the world number one's stranglehold.
Nadal emerged triumphant that day, winning in five sets in a four-hour 48-minute epic of fluctuating fortunes that stretched out over seven hours because of constant, momentum-shifting rain interruptions.
It was only four minutes longer than it took Roger Federer to defeat Alejandro Falla of Colombia in 2004.
"The king has returned to the top of the throne," said Fury, who had dropped Wilder in the third and fifth rounds as he remained unbeaten while handing Wilder the first defeat of his career.
No.1 seed Simona Halep was forced to the brink, but battled to a hard-earned second Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title, as the Romanian fought back from a set down to overcome rising Kazakh Elena Rybakina, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(5) in Saturday night’s classic final.
Minutes before the official men’s draw, Malek Jaziri — one of the best tennis players in the Arab world — said that he hoped for better luck this time.
Returning to the court for the first time since lifting a record-extending eighth Australian Open title last month, top seed Novak Djokovic will face former semi-finalist Malek Jaziri in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.