Nadal overcomes hiccup to march into Paris semi-finals

PARIS (Reuters) – 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.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 7, 2018 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his quarter final match against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

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 Nadal on the brink of winning the second set.

Slideshow (7 Images)

It was a very different story when the contest resumed on Thursday in drier conditions as Nadal won 12 of the first 13 points before cruising into the last four.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion will face either Croatian third seed Marin Cilic or another Argentine, fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro, for a place in Sunday’s final.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by David Goodman and Pritha Sarkar

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