Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Del Potro: Nothing to lose against Nadal

Shannon Reynolds | 08 June, 2018, 12:30

Two past U.S. Open champions meet in the other men's quarterfinal: No. 3 Marin Cilic against No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro.

Play resumed on a sunny Court Suzanne Lenglen with the towering fifth and third seeds locked at 5-5 in the first set tiebreak after rain had curtailed their high-octane clash on Wednesday.

Being a 10-times champion did not prevent Rafael Nadal from feeling nervous against Argentine Diego Schwartzman in their French Open quarter-final, with the Spaniard admitting that he can at times struggle to cope with his own expectations. I have had three surgeries on my left wrist and I was close to quitting.

The 11th-seeded Schwartzman appeared to have done his homework well as he dominated the early exchanges to bag the opening set - an achievement in itself as it was the first one Nadal had lost at Roland Garros since 2015. "Second thing, if you don't feel the pressure, it's because you don't love the sport", said Nadal, who has never failed to win the title in Paris after reaching the semi-finals.

Top-ranked Simona Halep has rallied past Angelique Kerber 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2 to reach the French Open semifinals.

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

(1) Rafael Nadal bt.

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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.

Nadal has lost one match on clay this year and won his 11th titles at Monte Carlo and Barcelona along with an eighth trophy in Italy.

The injury-plagued former US Open champion Del Potro wept courtside after beating third seed Cilic to reach the last four for the second time, but first in nine years.

"After the stop for rain I played more aggressively and I m very happy to be back in the semi-finals here".

The world No.1 had looked out of sorts on Wednesday, with the Argentine leading by a set and a break when the players were first called off the court.

"It's tough to speak now", del Potro said. "And in the end, I got it, and now I'm having a great present, looking forward for the future". It's the first semifinal between a pair of American women at Roland Garros since Serena Williams beat Jennifer Capriati on her way to the 2002 title.

We're nearly to the end of the French Open for 2018. However, Cecchinato is on fire and we've already seen the upsets this Italian can cause. Schwartzman took a set from Nadal, but a weather delay recharged Nadal and he stormed back to take the next three sets.

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