12-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal overcame a tough first-set in the quarterfinals of the ongoing French Open against Jannik Sinner before cruising his way into the semis.
In what was his 100th match at the Roland Garros, Nadal defeated 19-year-old Sinner 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1 in a match that lasted two hours and 49 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
“He’s a very, very young talent with great shots. For two sets it was very tough. At the end of the first set I was very lucky. It was very difficult for me to pull him out of position,” said Nadal after he booked his 13th last-four place in Paris.
“In the third set I improved, I was much better being much more aggressive. That’s the only way. I’m very, very happy to be back in the semi-finals of Roland-Garros again. It’s no doubt the most important place for me, the most beautiful place to play,” he added.
The world number two’s win-loss ratio stands at a staggering 98 wins against just two defeats in the clay court Grand Slam. Since making his debut in French Open in 2005, Nadal has spent 237 hours and eight minutes on the court with just 27 sets lost, 427 of 602 break points saved, according to the tournament’s website.
The 19-time Major champion will next face Diego Schwartzman, who beat Dominic Thiem on Wednesday in a five-set quarter-final that lasted more than five hours.
12th seed Schwartzman shocked Thiem, who was one of the tournament favourites, 7-6, 5-7, 5-7, 7-6, 6-2.
Meanwhile, in women’s singles, Argentine qualifier Nadia Podoroska produced the greatest shock of the ongoing tournament as she defeated No.3 seed Elina Svitolina, 6-2, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. She has become the first qualifier ever to reach the last four of Roland Garros – and the first in 21 years to reach such a point in any major.
“It’s difficult for me to speak after the match, but thanks everyone for your support. I’m very, very happy!” Podoroska said after the match “It’s difficult for me to speak after the match, but thanks everyone for your support. I’m very, very happy!” she added.
She will next face Polish teenager Iga Swiatek, who ousted Italian qualifier Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-1 to reach her first Grand Slam semifinal.