Rafael Nadal lost his first set at the French Open since 2015 but that blip did not prevent the 10-times champion from marching into the semi-finals with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Diego Schwartzman in their rain-delayed match on Thursday.
The world number one had looked out of sorts in damp conditions on Wednesday as Schwartzman bombarded him with winners to cause him all sorts of problems, with the Argentine leading by a set and a break when the players were first called off court due to rain.
Upon resumption, the Spaniard gradually improved before rain brought an early end to the day with Rafa on the brink of winning the second set. It was a very different story when the contest resumed on Thursday in drier conditions as Rafa won 12 of the first 13 points before cruising into the last four.
After the match, Rafa said:
Diego’s a good friend, a really good player. It wasn’t easy. I wish him all the best for the future. I played at a better level after the rain, I’m happy to reach another semi-final. It’s a great emotion to play here. I’ve got to play again tomorrow, it’ll be difficult whoever I play.
The 16-time Grand Slam champion will face Juan Martin del Potro for a place in Sunday’s final.