Del Potro powers past Cilic to set up Rafa clash

Del Potro powers past Cilic to set up Rafa clash

The 16-time Grand Slam champion was pushed for three hours and 42 minutes by 11th seed Schwartzman, but will face Del Potro for a place in the final after the fifth seed downed Marin Cilic 7-6 (7/5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.

Juan Martin Del Potro is coming off a four sets win over Marin Čilić that took 40 games to decide.

Del Potro is certainly a worthy opponent and is playing some of his most consistent tennis of his career, but you kind of keep betting Nadal in this tournament until he loses. It wasn't a good night because I was thinking too much, where could I serve, "T" or wide? While his best result at all the other Majors is the fourth round, it's on the claycourts of Roland Garros that he has thrived.

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.

His upward trajectory - rising from lower than 1,000 in the world past year to a guaranteed career high of fourth when the next round of rankings come out - looked unlikely after he missed nine Grand Slams in a row after nearly disappearing from the tour in 2014.

His face was creased with worry as he trailed a pumped-up rival, but Rafael Nadal re-emerged after an overnight rain delay to blow away Diego Schwartzman at Roland Garros. He is also the only player to have defeated Nadal on the red dirt this year.

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- In 2016 was suspended for 18 months by the Italian tennis federation having been accused of fixing. He is now looking to move past that scandal and is hoping to build on what has been a breakthrough year for him.

The unheralded Cecchinato simply being here is freakish for a number of reasons, not least his 10-8 final set success over Marius Copil in the first round, a match which lasted nearly four hours. I'm not interested in these things, I just play tennis. But all my semi-finals in Grand Slams were against them.

Day 13 at the French Open action is men's singles semi-finals day, and with three big names and one rather unlikely contender taking to the courts, Dan Weston previews the matches. In Wimbledon I lost against (Novak) Djokovic.

"It's tough to speak now, " the del Potro said. "It's very hard. I think more when I do play Madi". Both Nadal and Del Potro will be short on rest, so nobody has the advantage there. However, his resilience helped him climb back into the top-10 and his blistering forehand still continues to be one of the best shots in the sport.

Del Potro, the US Open victor in 2009, is playing the tournament for only the second time since 2012 after a spate of injuries.

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