Del Potro directs frustration at Paris spectator

Elena Summers
June 8, 2018

The clay courts of Roland Garros host the second Grand Slam of the season. The 32-year-old Spaniard is 84-2 for his career at the French Open, winning four consecutive titles from 2005-08, another five consecutive from 2010-14, and No. 10 a year ago.

Rafa Nadal found his form when his French Open clash with Diego Schwartzman restarted on Thursday and won 12 of the first 13 points on his way to booking a place in the semi finals with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory. "That's the most important for me". "And I have been trying and trying every day to fix my problem in my wrist", Del Potro said. Their match was also initially suspended by rain headed for a tiebreaker at 6-6 in the first set.

Nadal will now play the victor of the quarter-final between Marin Cilic and Juan Martin Del Potro, who had split sets after the resumption of their match on Court Suzanne Lenglen. Additionally, emotion and momentum has to be on the side of Del Potro, who is thrilled to be at this stage, while Nadal faces all the pressure of expectations.

"I thought that after nine years I [would] play [someone] different, not Rafa or Roger", del Potro said, with a smile. Rain had happily altered the trajectory of his two-day quarterfinal, pushing the conclusion into a sunnier, drier day more suited to his strengths.

Yesh: It has been nearly a decade since del Potro made the semifinals here.

He buckled at 5-5, though, and sent a backhand long on break point, leaving Del Potro to serve for the match, which he did easily as Cilic missed with three more backhands.


And Nadal knows he will be in for a hard afternoon where defensive play is not an option.

The 10-time champion levelled proceedings within minutes of the resumption on Thursday and then blitzed Schwartzman with some stupendous hitting to wrap up the quarter-final in four sets.

"I came here without big expectations, just seeing how my body feels match by match", said del Potro.

Muguruza will face Simona Halep or Angelique Kerber in the semifinals.

In the other women's quarterfinal, No. 1 Simona Halep takes on former No. 1 Angelique Kerber in a rematch of their epic Australian Open semifinal in January.

Simona Halep is two wins away from earning her first Grand Slam title. The matchup was the first All-American semifinal match at Roland Garros since 2002. Having a 3.8% edge on serve (holding 89.2% to Del Potro's 85.4%) on clay in the last 12 months, and a whopping 22.9% edge on return (50.4% to 27.5%), we are in quite rare territory where even Nadal's price as a heavy favourite looks value - he's [1.16] to get the win today.

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