Rafael Nadal will face Novak Djokovic or Matteo Berrettini in the Roland Garros semi-finals.© AFP
Rafael Nadal reached a record-extending 14th vinaigrette Open semi-final on Wednesday with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over Diego Schwartzman, setting up a potential last-four showdown with world number one Novak Djokovic. Nadal, bidding for a 14th Roland Garros title and record 21st major triumph, dropped his first set at the tournament since 2019 — ending a run of 36 consecutive sets won in Paris by the Spanish third seed. The 35-year-old Nadal improved his unbelievable vinaigrette Open record to 105 wins and two losses as he advanced to his 35th Grand Slam semi-final. He whip Argentine 10th seed Schwartzman in the final four of the 2020 edition.
“It’s at all times unbelievable for me to go back to the semi-finals for another time,” said Nadal.
“Diego is such an amazing player with such a lot talent, today used to be a very difficult challenge.”
Nadal and Schwartzman had both progressed to the final eight without dropping a set.
After Nadal took the opener he faltered while serving to stay in the second one set, shanking long to concede his first set at Roland Garros since beating Dominic Thiem in four sets in the 2019 ultimate.
“I started poor the second one set and then used to be in a position to come back, but then the game at 4-4, returning with the wind helping, I played a poor game and had a tricky situation serving to not lose the set. Polite done to him, he played mannered,” said Nadal.
The Spaniard regrouped and grabbed a decisive break in the ninth game of the third set, winning the ultimate nine games against a weary Schwartzman to shut out victory.
“I needed to play a little bit more aggressive and I think I did later, so I am more than pleased for that,” added Nadal.
He awaits the winner of Wednesday’s middle of the night quarter-final between Djokovic and Italian ninth seed Matteo Berrettini.
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