Nadal facing clay foe for crown

Juan Martin del Potro serves against Marin Cilic

Juan Martin del Potro serves against Marin Cilic

The victory also allowed the 32-year-old Nadal to hold onto the No. 1 ranking, ahead of Federer.

So both Nadal, the 10-time champion at Roland Garros, and 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman, attempting to reach a Grand Slam semi-final for the first time, were given a night to rest before they are scheduled to resume Thursday at Court Philippe Chatrier.

Nadal's incredible record in Paris now reads 86 wins and two defeats. And for good reason.

After del Potro served out his victory at love to get to his first semifinal at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament since 2009, he sat in his changeover seat, chest heaving.

Rafael Nadal is one set away from what would be a record-extending 11th French Open title, having taken the second set 6-3 in the final against Dominic Thiem.

This will be the 10th tour-level encounter between Nadal and Thiem.

"He's a big favorite against everybody", he told reporters. But I know how to play against him.

"But I have a plan".

But Thiem showed resilience in getting two break points on Nadal's serve. He was not playing his best tennis.

His ideal sliding and fine single-handed backhand make him a fearsome player on clay and Cecchinato believes he has what it takes to continue his climb up the rankings. "He has the power". If I had won the second set, I think it would have been totally different the third set. Or at least not a blowout.

On the other hand, del Potro also was involved in a rain-marred quarter-final against third seed Marin Cilic over the last two days. He has undergone four wrist surgeries but the issue, thankfully, was a minor hip complaint.

"And when I was able to change that, I was able to win the game and the match". "I missed a lot at the beginning of the match".

Del Potro fought back tears during his post-match interview and was loudly cheered by fans at Court Suzanne Lenglen. At No. 72, he is the lowest-ranked French Open semifinalist since 1999.

Play at the French Open has been called off for the day because of rain. The Argentinian said that the story of David and Goliath inspired him in a remarkable comeback from two sets down against Kevin Anderson, who is 13 inches taller than him, in the last 16.

Stephens broke Keys to begin the second set and once again established a 3-1 lead.

Thiem led 6-3 but suddenly lost focus.

World 72 Cecchinato had knocked out three seeded players to reach the semi-finals‚ including 12-time major victor Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

Cecchinato was understandably deflated - the third set lasted a mere 24 minutes - and Thiem officially booked his spot in the final, to his mother's delight.

Marco Cecchinato of Italy was defeated by Dominic Thiem of Austria during day thirteen of the 2018 French Open. "I was always wanting to win", Schwartzman said. I don't want anyone to think that it's a routine.

The smile never left her face.

Seventh seed Thiem is the first Austrian to make a final at the majors since Thomas Muster was champion in Paris in 1995.

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