French Open 2018: Rafael Nadal admits to nerves after Diego Schwartzman scare

Juan Martin del Potro serves against Marin Cilic

Juan Martin del Potro serves against Marin Cilic Credit AFP

"He's not going to give you a free point if he's up 5-love or down love-5", Bresnik said.

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

He is the only man to beat the world number one on clay in the last two years - in Madrid this spring and in Rome last year.

Dabrowski teamed with India's Rohan Bopanna to win last year's French Open mixed-doubles title and with Pavic to win the Australian Open mixed title earlier this year. Cilic, who like Del Potro stands 1.98m tall, owns a U.S. Open title, has a beast of a serve and always looked like being his first serious test.

"Against Dominic Thiem‚ he is top 10‚ and today all the people were for me".

Then again, Thiem upended Nadal in Rome a year ago before being thumped by the Spaniard in the French Open semifinals weeks later 6-3 6-4 6-0.

"But then I got lucky to win the first set, playing two good points".

"He's a big favorite against everybody", he told reporters.

"I know how to play against him", he said, without elaborating.

"But I have a plan". "When (Thiem) is dominating the point, he is very risky".

Del Potro will be playing in a Grand Slam semi-final for the fifth time when he steps onto Court Philippe Chatrier, with a place in the final against either surprise package Marco Cecchinato or Dominic Thiem up for grabs. "He has the power".

The injury-plagued former US Open champion Del Potro wept courtside after beating third seed Cilic to reach the last four for the second time, but first in nine years. Nadal had more trouble with another Argentine, the diminutive Diego Schwartzman, in the quarterfinals.

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He previously had a spell as manager of Porto , as well as with the Spanish national youth team set-up and at Real's B team. Spain are the only team in Russian Federation who have remained undefeated from Euro 2016 to the World Cup.

Del Potro had required treatment on a hip problem suffered early in the first set and he visibly wilted in the second, raising his arms in mock celebration when he won a solitary game while already 5-0 behind. Or at least not a blowout.

"It's tough to speak now", said an emotional Del Potro.

In the other remaining quarterfinal, which will continue Thursday at Court Suzanne Lenglen, No. 3 Marin Cilic and No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro were at 5-all in a first-set tie-breaker when the play-ending shower came.

Cecchinato said: "It was a special tournament for me". After serving a fault, Nadal took the unusual step of heading to the sideline in the middle of a game.

And on the penultimate point of the semifinal, after being run ragged, the 2009 US Open victor could only offer up a smile.

Play at the French Open has been called off for the day because of rain. Their match was also initially suspended by rain headed for a tiebreaker at 6-6 in the first set.

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

Nadal then took the set 6-4 when Thiem hit a forehand long.

He put out seeded players Pablo Carreno Busta and David Goffin before the seismic shock of knocking out 2016 champion Djokovic in the quarter-finals. "So it was good for me that I won it". I don't want anyone to think that it's a routine.

She had never made it past the fourth round on the red clay of Paris until now. Thiem and Nadal have battled back and forth throughout the 2018 ATP World Tour.

He concluded, however, by saying: "It's not easy". I was able to open the court on his forehand. The diminutive shot maker halted Nadal's record of straight sets.

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