Despite an injury suffered in the first set, Nadal beat Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, 7-6 (6), 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 on Monday to advance.
The world No. 1 will now have to face the 10th ranked American Mardy Fish in the quarterfinals.
Nadal won Wimbledon the following year and returned in 2010 to reclaim the title after missing the 2009 tournament.
He said he suffered what “seems like (a problem with a) bone in the foot” during the first set and “thought I might have to retire.”