Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro Reach Roland Garros Semis
(June 7, 2018) In a continuation of matches halted by rain on Wednesday Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro advanced to the semifinals of the French Open on Thursday.
For 10-time Roland Garros champion Nadal, he’s reached the final four for the eleventh time with his 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 quarterfinal win over Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman.
Nadal was leading, serving at 5-3, 30-15 when play was stopped on Wednesday night.
“Of course the stop yesterday helps, because it was in a tough moment of my match,” said Nadal. He was playing great, and I was playing too defensive. I felt that I was playing a little bit under more stress than usual, and he was able to take control of the point too many times.
“And then today, the conditions were similar than yesterday, no? No, I can’t say — well, is fair to say that the rain delay helps me yesterday, but not fair to say the conditions today helped me. The conditions today were the same for both.
“I played more aggressive. I continued the level of intensity that I played after the first stop. And in my opinion, the match changed, no? Of course he’s a tough opponent, and he’s gonna always be a tough match. But at the same time, I think after the first rain delay, the match changed a lot because I play more aggressive with high intensity and the things were more on my side.”
The world No. 1 is 10-0 in French Open semifinals.
Nadal is only the third man to reach the final four of a single major eleven times in the Open Era joining Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer. It’s also his 27th major semifinal, fifth place in the Open Era.
Nadal will face Juan Martin del Potro in his semifinal on Thursday.
“Will be a tough match,” said the 16-time major winner. “Gonna be a tough match, anyway. I played already here days in a row in the past. I hope to be ready for it. I really believe that I am enough fit and ready to hold.
“I need to rest. That’s why I came here quick, and I want to do my things. I want to work with my physiotherapist. I want to be with calm a little bit at the room and just save energy and wake up tomorrow with the right feelings and go on court and just try to play with the right determination, no?
“That’s my goal, and then anything can happen.”
Juan Martin del Potro has returned to the French Open semifinals for the first time since 2009 by beating Marin Cilic 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.
After the win Del Potro’s eyes welled up with tears during his post-match interview.
“It’s tough to speak now,” the Argentine. “It has been a long time without good feelings. I had three surgeries on my left wrist. I was close to quit.”
Del Potro didn’t know if he was going to even play the French Open.
“I’m feeling so, so happy that I made the right decision for play here,” said Del Potro. “I am doing well. Of course, I didn’t expect to get in semifinals a couple of weeks before. But now I’m here, and I’m still alive. Physically I’m good, and hopefully I can be ready for tomorrow.
“Everybody knows that I was close to quitting this sport two years ago, but I never give up. I have been trying and trying every day to fix the problem in my wrist. And in the end, I got it, and now I’m having a great present, looking forward for the future. Of course, I didn’t expect to be in the Top 5 again, to reach semi-finals at the big tournament after all my injuries.”
Del Potro will move back up the rankings to No. 4, the first time since 2014.
Nadal holds a 9-5 head-to-head record against Del Potro.