The Spanish Rafael Nadal left a set against the Argentine Diego Schwartzman, the first to lose since 2019 at Roland Garros, but he prevailed on the way to his fourteenth semifinals in Paris, 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 and 6-o in 2 hours and 45 minutes.
The duel, a repeat of last year's semifinals, was more even, at times it even seemed that he could fall on the Argentine's side, but a reaction from the Spanish in the final stretch left him one step away from a new final.
His rival to achieve this will come out of the match between Serbian Novak Djokovic, world number 1, and Italian Matteo Berrettini, number 9.
“Diego is an incredible player, always very difficult for me. It's incredible to be back in the semi-finals again, thanks to the public, the people from Philippe Chatrier. It is always very exciting for me to play at Roland Garros, my favorite tournament, the most important of my career ”, said the Spaniard, who acknowledged that during the second set he lost his aggressiveness.
Big the 'Little'
Schwartzman, who entered the duel without having lost a set, with the tone recovered from last year after an irregular tour of clay, forced Nadal to raise his level, to seek the deepest resources of his talent.
The result was a showy duel, with two sets played from power to power, which delighted the public, again returning in large numbers to the stands due to the relief of the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
Roland Garros recovered some of its chicken coop spirit and fun and Nadal and Schwartzman knew how to give it tone and emotion, on a sunny Parisian afternoon.
The result was a new victory for Rafa, the 105th in his favorite tournament, the eleventh against the Argentine in twelve games, the third on the brick dust of Paris.
Schwartzman can take comfort in that he got a little closer to a rival, he has only defeated once, last year in Rome, and because he discovered that under Nadal's alien skin exists a vulnerable rival.