It took the intervention of rain to get Rafael Nadal past the pocket dynamite, Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinal and drop his first set at Roland Garros to the Argentine.
Nadal was on the cusp of eclipsing Bjorn Borg’s record of 41 straight sets won at Roland Garros before Schwartzman put a stop to it at 36.
It will be his 11th semifinal in Paris against another Argentine in big-serving Juan Martin Del Potro, who will be making his second appearance in the semis – nine years after his first.
Nadal conquered Del Potro on the way to winning the 2017 US Open and holds a 9-5 head-to-head advantage over the Argentine.
In the second semifinal, Italian, Marco Cecchinato will be hoping to continue his fairy tale journey against Dominic Thiem, who is hoping to take an important step by making the final in Paris after a third consecutive semifinal qualification.
But he must be wary of Cecchinato, who beat Pablo Carreno Busta, David Goffin and famously Novak Djokovic in the quarter-final.
Can Simona Halep beat Stephens for a first Grand Slam title?
In the women’s draw, Simona Halep ranked No.1 in women’s tennis, and has been for the last 15 weeks is into a fourth Grand Slam final – losing the last three – twice in Paris. Her opponent on Saturday, Sloane Stephens came to Roland Garros ranked No.10 but has a Grand Slam title to her name – the 2017 US Open.
Can Halep get past Stephen to win a first Grand Slam or will the American make it two Grand Slam titles out of the last three? Halep lost the Australian Open final to Caroline Wozniacki – the Dane, winning her first major.
The Romanian has also lost in Paris twice – 2014 and 2017, where she surprisingly lost to Jelena Ostapenko, even though she won the first set.
Against a steady Stephens, she will have to curb some of her aggression on the baseline as the American is a good athlete and very good defensively.
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