First set: Rafael Nadal *2-0 Diego Schwartzman
Nadal immediately breaks serve after a messy opening service game from Schwartzman. The Argentine led 30-0, then lost four points in a row. At 30-30, he double faulted and then he dumped a routine backhand into the net on the first break point.
First set: Rafael Nadal 1-0* Diego Schwartzman
Just a relaxed 14 minute opening game filled with long, intense rallies to get the blood flowing.
A great effort from Nadal, who saved two break points to hold serve. After recovering from 40-15 to deuce, Schwartzman chased down a couple of big forehands before seamlessly flipping from defence to offence, finishing with a great crosscourt backhand.
On break point, Schwartzman missed a second serve return. Schwartzman later created a second break point to which Nadal responded with an excellent drop shot, eventually finishing the point with a nice volley. Nadal finally closed it off with a big crosscourt backhand.
We may be here for a long time.
Both players are just finishing their warm-up. Nadal will serve first.
Rafael Nadal leads the head-to-head against Diego Schwartzman 9-1 and 4-1 on clay, but even before Schwartzman got his first win over Nadal last month, he has always been an irritant for Nadal. He tends to play well at least for a few sets, as was the case when he took a set off Nadal in their only match at Roland Garros in the 2018 quarter-final.
There are many long rallies to come and Schwartzman will once again be looking to move forward to the baseline when he can, take the ball early off both wings and control the points. The quality backhand cross-court into Nadal’s forehand from the ad court will determine a lot. Let’s see.
A succinct demonstration of Diego Schwartzman’s incredible level against Nadal in Rome two weeks ago.
This is the most recent update on Novak Djokovic’s neck issues.
Hello! Welcome to day 13 of our Roland Garros coverage as men’s semi-final day is finally upon us and we have two very exciting matches on slate. First up, 12 time Roland Garros champion and 2nd seed Rafael Nadal will face 12th seed Diego Schwartzman. Top seed Novak Djokovic will follow with a very interesting match-up with 5th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.
For all the quality tennis being played by others, the main topic in the men’s tournament has been about Nadal and Djokovic and whether a meeting in the final is inevitable. Both players reached the quarter-finals without dropping a set but quarter-finals finally produced some friction as 19 year-old Jannik Sinner served for the first set against Nadal before Djokovic entered his quarter-final against the formidable Pablo Carreno Busta with some discomfort in his neck and shoulder. For a set and a bit, he was on the ropes until he elevated his level and recovered to win in four sets.
What is clear is that both semi-final opponents are capable of beating them. After constantly making life difficult for Nadal across their 9 previous meetings, Schwartzman finally achieved his first win against Nadal three weeks ago in Rome with the best performance of his career. He broke Nadal’s serve 5 times in total and was a constant pest from the baseline, taking the ball so early and lasering winners off both sides to win 6-2 7-5. However, Rome was Nadal’s first tournament back after lockdown and although the conditions in Paris are not ideal for him, he now has more matches under his belt, best of 5 sets and the comfort of playing at a tournament where he boasts a 98-2 record. This is all extremely difficult.
Is Stefanos Tsitsipas ready to step up to Novak Djokovic’s level? Although he already reached a slam semi-final at the 2019 Australian Open, this is Tsitsipas’s most impressive two weeks of his career so far. After the horror of failing to convert 6 match points in his US Open fourth round against Borna Coric and arriving late in Paris after competing in the Hamburg final against Andrey Rublev, he lost the first two sets of the tournament against Jaume Munar. Since his first career recovery from two sets down, he has not lost a set and shocked a lot of people by dismantling Rublev in three sets on Wednesday. The resistance he produces against Djokovic today will reveal a lot about him.