Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Nadal shows champion qualities to bounce back and book semi final place

Nadal shows champion qualities to bounce back and book semi final place

As Rafael Nadal aims to win a 11th French Open, he comes up against a resurgent Juan Martin del Potro.

The fourth set was a foregone conclusion nearly before it began, and Schwartzman was only able to win two games as his impressive 2018 French Open came to an end. Schwartzman, who hit 20 winners in the first set, had only 17 in the final three.

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 when I was able to change that, I was able to win the game and the match".

Nadal giving up a 6.5 game head start is [1.74] on the Exchange, and I'd expect this to rise by several ticks as the market forms in the run-up to the match, and I'm quite happy to look at this as a more viable proposition.

Nearly the best any player can hope for at Roland Garros is to merely trouble the clay-court master, to make him slightly uncomfortable and perhaps even win a set, as Schwartzman did, before the inevitable Nadal victory comes to pass. Nadal defeated Diego Schwartzman for the opportunity to face off against Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Marin Cilic on Thursday. I hope to be ready for it. So, are you really betting against Nadal? "[Del Potro plays an] aggressive game from the end of the court, the baseline".

"I have to play aggressively".

"He was playing great, and I was playing too defensive".

Del Potro will be playing in a Grand Slam semi-final for the fifth time when he steps onto Court Philippe Chatrier, with a place in the final against either surprise package Marco Cecchinato or Dominic Thiem up for grabs. "For me it's always big emotions to win here".

Rain interrupted that clash and when it resumed Nadal came out firing by coming from a set down to claim victory.

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He saves all three as Del Potro is unable to make any impact.

The second set, like the first, was dominated by serve until Cilic fired himself up to break at 4-4 - a furious Del Potro throwing his racket at the changeover.

In addition, Rafa is the only player who has reached the last four in Paris 11 times (Novak Djokovic is on eight), becoming only the third player who has played in some many semi-finals at a single Major after Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer. In the victory, Del Potro won 79 percent of his first serve points and 54 percent of his second serve points. "It has been a long time without good feelings".

"Everybody knows that I was close to quitting this sport two years ago, but then I, for one reason, I never give up", said Del Potro. Both Nadal and Del Potro will be short on rest, so nobody has the advantage there. Del Potro has claimed two of the last three after losing five straight from 2011-13.

On the women's side, top-ranked Simona Halep will have another shot in the French Open final.

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.

Halep is still chasing her first Grand Slam title.

His upward trajectory - rising from lower than 1,000 in the world past year to a guaranteed career high of fourth when the next round of rankings come out - looked unlikely after he missed nine Grand Slams in a row after nearly disappearing from the tour in 2014.

Nadal returned to the court midway through serving to level the match after bad weather ended play early on Wednesday evening.

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