French Open win No 99 for Rafael Nadal as he brushes aside Diego Schwartzman to reach 13th final
Rafael Nadal gained revenge on Diego Schwartzman to reach his 13th French Open final.
Schwartzman had managed his first victory over Nadal in 10 meetings at the Italian Open in Rome last month but a repeat never looked on the cards in the Spaniard’s fortress.
Nadal’s 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 (7-0) victory made it 99 wins and only two defeats at Roland Garros and he will challenge for a 13th title on Sunday.
Nothing unlucky about this number for 🇪🇸 @RafaelNadal!
— ATP Tour (@atptour) October 9, 2020
Victory would give him a 20th Grand Slam crown, drawing him level with Roger Federer at the top of the all-time list, and few would bet against him.
He was relentless for two and a half sets but a faltering finish will be a cause for optimism for whoever he faces in the final on Sunday.
From 4-2, Nadal’s grip on the match loosened and he had to save three break points at 5-5 before clinching the match on a tie-break to ensure he reached the final in Paris without dropping a set for the sixth time.
The crux of the match in many ways was a first set that averaged more than seven minutes a game. Nadal was largely conservative, using extra height on his shots to counteract the lack of spin caused by the cool, damp conditions.
Schwartzman had four break points but could only convert one while Nadal struck on both of his two chances, wearing the Argentinian down with his consistency and going to his attacking arsenal only when necessary.
Schwartzman lacked the attacking intensity he had shown in Rome, which was perhaps a legacy of his five-hour victory over Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals.
He looked down and out at 1-3 in the third set but dug in admirably, breaking Nadal twice in succession to pull back to 4-4. Now it was Schwartzman dictating much of the play but, with the Spaniard’s hold for 6-5, the door was closed.
Madison Keys stuns Iga Swiatek for first win over reigning World No 1
Madison Keys swept to a straight sets victory against Swiatek, who looked far from her best.
Daniil Medvedev to face home hope Taylor Fritz in Cincy last eight
Daniil Medvedev is set for a first competitive meeting with Taylor Fritz.
Petra Kvitova comes through see-saw battle with Ons Jabeur
Petra Kvitova dropped some bombs on Ons Jabeur.
What Nick Kyrgios needs to do to compete on the ATP Tour
Greg Rusedski believes Nick Kyrgios would be better off focusing on things that he can control, like his own fitness.
US Open 2022: Injury cloud hangs over women’s draw
Injury concerns have afflicted the big names of the WTA Tour.
Nick Kyrgios ‘unravelled’ against Taylor Fritz as pundit says he needs ‘to get stronger’
Injury cloud hanging over Nick Kyrgios ahead of US Open.
Andy Murray could drop a surprise retirement announcement at any time
Andy Murray feels he will know when he has played his last match.
Emma Raducanu vs Jessica Pegula TV and streaming info: US Open champion looking to end hoodoo
Can Emma Raducanu win three matches in a row for the first time since the US Open?
Iga Swiatek calls for new balls as she slams ‘horrible’ US Open balls that ‘fly like crazy’
Iga Swiatek feels officials have made a balls-up.