Rafael Nadal Beats Diego Schwartzman, Advances to 2018 French Open Semis

Rafa shows when the going gets tough, the tough win anyway

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro felled Marin Cilic in a French Open clash of the titans, winning 7-6 (5) 5-7 6-3 7-5 on Thursday, and will now aim his heavy artillery at 10-times champion Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. Juan Martin del Potro took his frustration out on a fan during his quarterfinal Roland Garros encounter with Marin Cilic-though he couldn't quite figure out which spectator to zone in on.

Three break point chances for Del Potro.

Schwartzman provided a blueprint of how Nadal might possibly be beaten on Wednesday as he hit 20 winners and earned nine break points in the opening set.

"It was a very hard match, Diego is a good friend and a good player", said the 16-time Grand Slam champion.

Earlier this year, del Potro put his relative lack of success on clay down to the fact that he "doesn't like running". "I think that after the rain interruption I played much better, I was more aggressive", said Nadal. I have had three surgeries on my left wrist and I was close to quitting. I'm not interested in these things, I just play tennis.

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.

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

Del Potro will be up against 10-time champion Rafal Nadal for a spot in the final.

"So many times, the top players, they win half of the match nearly before the match started because their opponent don't really believe in it", said Soderling, who is coaching now after chronic illness forced him to retire three years ago.

This incredible statistic gives Nadal a vast edge on every single opponent on tour, and even a generally strong server as Del Potro has a projected hold percentage of 57.6% for this match, according to my model.

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

Top-ranked Simona Halep is up against 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza in the other semifinal match. Although he lost, the run set off a string of strong play that led him to his first (and only) Grand Slam title, at the 2009 US Open.

The back end of the match that swung in Nadal's favor was played in very different conditions from the oppressive humidity that troubled him Wednesday evening. 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'll see what can I do against the king of clay". And a year ago, he earned the trophy without dropping a set.

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