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French Open: Nadal proves too strong for Schwartzman in quarterfinal

Rafael Nadal

Bengaluru, une 9: Defending champion Rafael Nadal remains on course for a record-extending 14th French Open title after overcoming Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 in an intense quarterfinal at Court Philippe Chatrier on Wednesday.

Schwartzman ended Nadal's run of 36 consecutive sets won at Roland Garros to level up the contest at one set apiece, but the Spaniard's quality told in the end.

The third seed held serve throughout a tense third set and eased through the fourth to take the match in two hours and 45 minutes in front of 5,000 spectators.

Nadal, who won nine games in a row to see out the contest, will now face either Novak Djokovic or Matteo Berrettini for a place in the final.

Like Nadal, Schwartzman had not dropped a set at this year's tournament heading into this showdown, but the Argentinian was broken in the sixth and eighth games of the first to fall behind.

However, Schwartzman played some sublime and attacking tennis to instantly hit back by twice breaking Nadal in the second set.

In doing so, he became just the third player to win a set in more than one match against Nadal at Roland Garros after Djokovic and Roger Federer.

A tight third set followed, with both players holding until the ninth game when Nadal took the second of his break points with a slice-lob combo.

That proved to be a turning point in the match as Nadal claimed the following game to wrap up the set and dominated a swift fourth set to book his place in a 14th semi-final.

Data Slam: Streak ended but Nadal marches on

Nadal may have seen his incredible 36-set winning streak come to an end in Paris – a run stretching back to his clash with Dominic Thiem in the 2019 final – but with this win his match record now stands at 105-2 in his favourite grand slam event.

WINNERS/UNFORCED ERRORS Nadal – 35/29 Schwartzman – 26/39 ACES/DOUBLE FAULTS Nadal – 6/3 Schwartzman – 3/3 BREAK POINTS WON Nadal – 7/14 Schwartzman – 3/4

(With OPTA inputs)

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Story first published: Wednesday, June 9, 2021, 22:20 [IST]
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