Thursday, 18 April, 2019

Nadal sets up Del Potro showdown in semis

Rafael Nadal's French Open set streak ends in quarterfinals Nadal's match with Schwartzman is postponed until 12.00PM on Thursday
Cassandra Castillo | 08 June, 2018, 07:16

A fearless Schwartzman took inspiration from David and Goliath as he fought back from two sets down to beat Kevin Anderson in the fourth round and slayed Nadal - who struggled on serve and returned poorly - in the first set.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion was pushed for three hours and 42 minutes by 11th seed Schwartzman, but will face Del Potro for a place in the final after the fifth seed downed Marin Cilic 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.

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Nadal leads the head-to-head 9-5 against del Potro, last seeing him in last year's US Open (which Nadal won in four sets).

Thiem has only has to play one great match because seven out of 10 tennis has enabled him to get to this stage.

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The 37-set run was Nadal's longest at the French Open, where the record of 41 was established by Bjorn Borg from 1978-81. "It's so hard to play at such a high-tempo for long periods, so I see Rafa winning in three, potentially four sets", said Cowan.

Del Potro would recover to win the match, 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.

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The last time Del Potro contended a Grand Slam final, he won it at the 2009 US Open.

On the role of his team during a testing time, he added: 'It was very important for me to have their support and my family as well, my friends. I had three surgeries on my left wrist.

Juan Martin del Potro could be a "nightmare opponent" for Rafael Nadal when they clash in the French Open semi-finals on Friday, according to former champion Mats Wilander.

"Everybody knows that I was close to quitting this sport two years ago", del Potro said later in press. "But now it's time to talk about my present in a good way". After that, Simona Halep plays Garbine Muguruza: the victor will be world No. 1.

Nadal was broken five of the first eight times he served.

"I played again one of my best matches on clay", Halep said after coming back from a break down in the second set. "It's very hard. I think more when I do play Madi".

"I don't have any obligation to win, first thing". "Rafa will go big into that backhand and although that part of Del Potro's game has improved in the past year, he's not going to hurt Rafa from that wing".

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