Nadal and Del Potro dazzle with duel at the net

GETTYRafael Nadal takes on Diego Schwartzman in the French Open quarter-finals

After dealing with some tight moments early, Nadal overwhelmed 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 the rest of the way Friday.

"He's an unbelievable player", Nadal said. "Today was unbelievable for me, with all of Philippe-Chatrier Court full". I continued the level of intensity that I played after the first stop. This really changed totally how I was looking at the match and how my opponent was looking at the match.

"I have lost a lot of opportunities through injuries, and I know the years are going quick". After guzzling water during that break, Nadal felt better and was back to playing his unmistakable brand of almost unbeatable clay-court tennis.

Nevertheless, Cecchinato can look back on a breakthrough tournament - he had never won a match at a grand slam before beating Marius Copil 10-8 in the fifth set last week.

"At Wimbledon I hope to there, but Roger Federer obviously has a phenomenal record on the grass". But now I am so happy.

Play in the men's quarterfinals has been stopped again due to rain at the French Open. And I have to play aggressively. "I played so many matches, so I think it is normal".

Rafael Nadal has consolidated his lead in the French Open final by breaking Dominic Thiem in the Austrian's first service game of the second set.

Cecchinato's catalogue of drop shots which helped account for Novak Djokovic kept Thiem on his toes throughout, but once the pivotal tie-break went the seventh seed's way Cecchinato's unlikely run was all but over. Another downpour halted the match towards the end of the second set and upon resumption on Thursday, the familiar all-conquering and ruthless Nadal was back on show. However, he faced a match point at 30-40 but Nadal lost it with n unforced backhand error.

But Del Potro bided his time, applied some pressure at 5-5 and Australian Open runner-up Cilic cracked.

"It's tough to speak now, " the del Potro said.

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The 6-foot-6 Argentine wiped away tears during his on-court interview, telling fans who chanted his nickname, "delPo": "It has been a long time without good feelings on my body. I was close to (quitting)".

Del Potro, the US Open victor in 2009, is playing the tournament for only the second time since 2012 after a spate of injuries.

He was near-flawless against Juan Martin del Potro in the last four.

In the quarter-finals of the men's singles (top-half), the rain could however be a great ally of Rafael Nadal.

The first women's semifinal between top-ranked Simona Halep and third-seeded Garbine Muguruza will start at 3 p.m.as planned. - Halep, after claiming her maiden Grand Slam title. No. 10 Sloane Stephens beat No. 13 Madison Keys 6-4, 6-4. He required two more opportunities before taking the game that lasted nearly nine minutes.

"We are always very competitive".

Thiem then held his serve at love for a 2-0 lead.

Dabrowski, a 26-year-old from Ottawa, and Pavic dropped the first set against Taiwan's Latisha Chan and Croatia's Ivan Dodig 6-1 but came back to win the second 7-6 (5).

Pavic and Dabrowski were the top seed in Paris, while Chan and Dodig were seeded second. Nadal is often known as the king of the surface, such has been his clay-court dominance down the years.

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