French Open glance: Nadal vs. Del Potro in French Open semis

Juan Martin del Potro serves against Marin Cilic

It took Nadal just two quickfire points to wrap up the set and leave the two players with effectively a best-of-three set match to play on Thursday.

Against del Potro, Nadal did not record a single ace and converted only 61 percent of his first serves.

Nadal, in an on-court interview, also said he's sure that runner-up Thiem will win the tournament in "the next couple of years". He beat me this year in Madrid with big power. Nadal is 49-0 against everyone else on his preferred surface in 2017 and 2018.

That began a run of four consecutive French Open triumphs through 2008. It will be followed by the all-American matchup between Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens. Both players dropped serve four times.

"After the first set I just stayed strong, I did not give up at all", said Halep.

Cilic responded well to level the match and seemed to assume control as he broke early in the third.

Thiem‚ who was playing in his third successive French Open semi-final‚ admitted the second set had been a nervy encounter after needing five set points to get through it.

"It was a very hard match, Diego is a good friend and a good player", said the 16-time Grand Slam champion.

He appeared nearly overcome with emotion after reaching his first French Open semi-final since 2009, when he was beaten by eventual champion Roger Federer.

Garbine Muguruza overwhelmed Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-1 in a matchup of past French Open champions to reach the semifinals.

But they face stiff competition in the final against Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. The two stars have combined to win the past six Slams.

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Earlier, Thiem needed to survive a nasty bout of the jitters to see off Marco Cecchinato and reach his first grand slam final.

Breaking serve in the first game and bouncing to a 4-2 lead, Thiem controlled proceedings before Cecchinato reeled off the next three games with trademark flair and adventure.

"But it's always tough against Rafa (Rafael Nadal)".

Thiem will start as the underdog in his first major final, but the 24-year-old has beaten his 32-year-old opponent on clay. Cecchinato was accused of match-fixing and suspended for 18 months in 2016, but he appealed, and his punishment was dropped on a technicality.

Nadal will face Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals. Their semifinal is later Friday.

Diego Schwartzman didn't walk away with a win against Rafael Nadal on Thursday at Roland Garos, but he left a resounding impression nonetheless.

Play is being delayed by rain during the French Open men's quarterfinals.

Baez defeated Thiago Seyboth Wild of Brazil 6-2, 6-2, while Tseng advanced past second-seeded Sebastian Korda of the United States 6-2, 7-5 in the semifinals. He is the third man in the Open era to reach 11 semifinals at a single Grand Slam event, joining Switzerland's Roger Federer (Australian Open, 14; Wimbledon, 12) and American Jimmy Connors (US Open, 14; Wimbledon, 11).

Although at times during the first set against Del Potro, especially when he was 0-40 down at 1-1 and 15-40 down at 4-4 it looked as though he might be in for a real scrap.

Halep went all out in the first set but her bold strategy backfired badly as she hit 30 unforced errors.

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