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Sharapova didn't need to play a point in the fourth round, because Serena Williams pulled out of their much-anticipated match with an injured chest muscle. Cecchinato will make it interesting if he's able to play the way he did against Djokovic, but I think Dominic Thiem reaches his first grand slam final. It also carved in to what he'd hoped would be a day off.

Former US Open champion del Potro's decision to enter the Paris tournament at the last minute has paid dividends after a quarter-final win over Marin Cilic earned him a final four showdown against Nadal.

"That's why I came here quick".

"I would sign with blood to win against Thiem and reach the final even if I were to lose against Nadal".

This is easy to take for granted, yet bears repeating: The cumulative stress on Nadal as he advances through an event he is expected to win is like ultraviolet light - invisible, but unsafe if he doesn't take measures to protect himself.

Rafael Nadal's torrid run through the French Open continued Thursday with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over 11th-seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman to advance to the semifinals at Roland Garros in Paris.

The No. 3-seeded Muguruza had lost all three previous meetings against Sharapova, who won two of her five Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros.

"It was someone who made a loud (noise) before my serve, and I made double fault". Aside from Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who are in a league of their own when it comes to fan stardom, no one else is more popular.

And it took all of Schwartzman's fearless attitude to stay engaged once Nadal regained his traction.

He buckled at 5-5 though and sent a backhand long on break point, leaving Del Potro to serve for the match, which he did easily as Cilic sent three more backhands out. "Maybe the day when you can beat Rafa was yesterday".

Nadal returned to the court midway through serving to level the match after bad weather ended play early on Wednesday evening.

The unheralded Cecchinato simply being here is freaky 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.

Del Potro is looking to dominate with his forehand and he wins this game with a huge shot down the line.

That has not necessarily become easier with age. In the victory, Nadal won 61 percent of his first serve points and 55 percent of his second serve points.

"I'll come here tomorrow, have a hit, have lunch here, go to my room, watch TV, wait till dinner, have dinner, go to sleep".


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