Refreshed Rafael Nadal surges into French Open semifinals

Refreshed Rafael Nadal surges into French Open semifinals

Refreshed Rafael Nadal surges into French Open semifinals

- Robin Soderling, one of only two men to beat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, thinks the Spaniard can win the title for an 11th time.

Nadal won the French Open on his debut as a 19-year-old and came into this year's event with a 79-2 win-loss record at Roland Garros.

When the players came back on for half an hour Nadal had rediscovered his serve and found his forehand, until at 5-3 30-15 the heavens opened again.

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 sent three more backhands out.

"Del Potro has achieved great victories this year".

"I will play for the fans from all over the world, because I know that many are hoping me to win this Grand Slam finally". Rain had happily altered the trajectory of his two-day quarterfinal, pushing the conclusion into a sunnier, drier day more suited to his strengths. "If I play defensively and I don't take intensity, I will be lost". "And, in my opinion, the match changed".

He needed two days to get it done after rain suspended play on Thursday when they were locked in the first-set tiebreaker.

He was inconvenienced by a couple of break points as he served for the third set with 11th seed Schwarztman, a 5ft 7in live wire, refusing to go away quietly.

Ten-time champion Nadal completed a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Diego Schwartzman.

Both shots were on full display Thursday at the French Open, where del Potro advanced to the semifinals by overcoming No. 3 Marin Cilic, 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5. Another downpour halted the match towards the end of the second set and upon resumption on Thursday, the familiar all-conquering and ruthless Nadal was back on show. Del Potro and Cilic alternated games in the fourth set before del Potro broke his opponent in the 11th game and served out the match.

He appeared nearly overcome with emotion after reaching his first French Open semi-final since 2009, when he was beaten by eventual champion Roger Federer.

Del Potro claimed the tiebreaker, and though he faltered late in the second set, he regained control of the match with five straight wins to claim the third.

"Even if it was 6-3 6-4, it was an uncomfortable match for me". Hopefully today will be an exception, and the enduringly popular Juan Martin del Potro will at least give the 10-time champion Rafael Nadal a fright.

"I've been a long time without feeling good with my body. I don't have words to explain what this means to me and my team".

"I thought that after nine years I will play a different one, not Rafa or Roger", he added.

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