Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Del Potro: Nothing to lose against Nadal


Rafael Nadal remains the favorite but must defeat the Tower of Tandil, Juan Martin Del Potro to reach the final.

Both men advanced by winning quarterfinals suspended the night before because of rain. "Maybe the day when you can beat Rafa was yesterday".

Nadal's streak of 37 consecutive set wins at Roland Garros ended Wednesday, but with victory the 32-year-old became only the third player in the Open era (since 1968) to reach 11 semifinals in the same grand slam.

Whoever reaches the final from that side of the draw will face either Dominic Thiem or Marco Cecchinato in Sunday's final.

"It was a very hard match, Diego is a good friend and a good player", said the 16-time Grand Slam champion. I was close to quit this sport.

"It was someone who made a loud [noise] before my serve, and I made double fault", Del Potro explained.

With his good run at Roland Garros, Del Potro is now guaranteed to return to the top four in the rankings for the first time in more than four years.

Broaden the scope to all best-of-five-set matches on red clay, and his record is 109-2.

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More important than that, of course, is the match's ultimate outcome, and a significant moment came with Schwartzman serving while up 3-2 in the second after the initial delay.

He appeared nearly overcome with emotion after reaching his first French Open semi-final since 2009, when he was beaten by eventual champion Roger Federer.

Schwartzman failed to consolidate the break again, but was undeterred as a ferocious forehand victor put him 5-4 up, and another fizzed forehand victor ended Nadal's long run of sets won in a row in Paris after a stoppage when a spectator collapsed.

He was hitting deeper into the corners than on Wednesday and Schwartzman was left to rue the match's first rain break that stopped the competition when he was leading 3-2 in the second set with a break.

"I was a bit lucky", said Nadal, who is 10-0 in French Open semi-finals and 10-0 in finals at the tournament. He was also able to raise his level when in danger, saving three break points in the eighth game of the third set with great shot-making, and four more in the final set.

Muguruza has not dropped a set so far in this year's tournament as she seeks a second championship in Paris and third major trophy overall.

"But then I got lucky to win the first set, playing two good points". I don't think you can know exactly how old your body is [in that way].

"I played more aggressive", Nadal said, adding: "In my opinion, the match changed, no?"

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