Rafael Nadal roars back to beat Diego Schwartzman and reach semis

Rafael Nadal roars back to beat Diego Schwartzman and reach semis

He came back on court in full swing and made Schwartzman run a lot with a combination of deep groundstrokes and subtle drop shots.

Thiem went ahead 6-3, but wasted three set points there, including a bad volley into the net at 6-4 that left him chewing ruefully on his left index finger. "The changes were not the sun or the rain".

"It's hard to better the performance he had a year ago here", Moya said of Nadal's 2017 masterpiece.

"Sometimes he gets fired up but has this calm about him that I think worries Nadal and Federer".

Moya, the 1998 French Open champion, added: "Dominic plays very heavy topspin, very aggressive, good fitness condition, he's probably the best clay-court player right now, along with Rafa".

"You can't afford to miss the occasions against Rafa".

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.

Of course, Del Potro's compatriot Diego Schwartzman managed to become the only person in this year's French Open to win a set against Nadal. The victor of these meetings ended up in the final each time and won three of the four Slams. "For me it's always big emotions to win here". "That's the most important for me".

The 24-year-old Austrian ended the fairytale of Italy's Marco Cecchinato, conqueror of Novak Djokovic, in the first of Friday's semifinals at Roland Garros.

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The fifth seed, who stunned Roger Federer to win the 2009 US Open at the age of 20, said he never imagined that the likes of the 20-time Grand Slam champion and Nadal would still be standing in his path at major tournaments nearly a decade later.

"I had the feeling he had control of the point too many times to have the chance to be successful". "I was close to [quitting]".

This was the No. 5-seeded del Potro's first semifinal at Roland Garros since 2009. He has nine career victories against a world No. 1-ranked player during his career - a record for players having never reached the top ranking.

"And I have been trying and trying every day to fix my problem in my wrist".

"If it's going to be him on Sunday, I will try everything so that my plan is also going to work out a little bit here and not only in Madrid or in Rome. We don't have to forget that, we have to be aware of that, but also not give too much importance to that otherwise it can get in your head and it's not helping".

The 2009 US Open champ, who will be playing his fifth career semifinal in a major, hit 31 winners against Cilic, including 19 aces.

There was a sense of inevitability in the air when Del Potro served at 4-5 and sure enough Nadal turned the screws to grab two set points at 15-40. He confronted the fan, then smashed his racket as he returned to his chair at the changeover.

"Even if it was 6-3 6-4, it was an uncomfortable match for me", Nadal said. "I just enjoy the fact that I am here again".

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