Rafael Nadal is on course to retain his French Open title after defeating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 to reach the semi-final of the major tournament.
Schwartzman ended Rafa’s run of 36 consecutive sets won at Roland Garros, dominating the longer rallies with well-constructed points and the match was evenly poised at 4-4 in the third set when our champ converted a crucial break point.
Schwartzman ran out of energy in the fourth as Rafa dispatched him with a clinical performance, the defending champion sending a flurry of winners past the tiring Argentine.
After the match, Rafa said:
“I want to show my appreciation for playing in front of you, Diego is such an amazing player with so much talent and I respect him so much, today was a very difficult challenge. To play in front of you where I have so much history is very special for me.
“We know each other well, I started bad the second set and then was able to come back, but then the game at 4-4, returning with the wind helping, I played a bad game and had a tricky situation serving to not lose the set. Well done to him, he played well.
“I needed to play a little bit more aggressive and I think I did later, so I am very happy for that.
“I felt always the support of all my family since I was a kid, but a real support without pressure, they were always ready to help me with every thing I needed. Thanks to all of them and without their support and the fans’ in the low moment it would be very difficult.”
Rafa will next play either top seed Novak Djokovic or Matteo Berrettini who meet in the last quarter-final later on Wednesday.