After regaining the Roland Garros crown in 2017, Rafael Nadal was once again the favorite at his beloved Major in 2018. The ten-time champion advanced to the semi-final after a hard-fought 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6 victory. -2 over 11th seed Diego Schwartzman. It took two days to complete the battle, with Nadal serving for the second set when rain spoiled the party. In the end, the Spaniard played at a higher level when they came back the next day and claimed victory in three hours and 42 minutes. For the first time since 2015, Nadal lost the opening set at Roland Garros, but kept his cool and knocked his rival down from the third set to reach the semi-finals. Thus, Rafa advanced to his 27th semifinal of a Major, leaving Andre Agassi in 26 and one of Ivan Lendl. Nadal achieved the 28th victory of 30 games in 2018 and his 84th victory in Paris of 86 games. Schwartzman did his best to stay in contact with his powerful opponent, trying to impose his punches and keep Rafa under pressure. The Argentine hit 37 winners but made too many mistakes, almost 20 more than Nadal. Diego won 42% of the return points, and Rafa further seized the opposition’s service games to hand him nine breaks of serve. Schwartzman had 20 break point opportunities, nine in the opening set alone, and converted five of them in sets one and two to send Nadal running. After exchanging four breaks in a row midway through the second set, Nadal shifted into a higher gear and led 5-3, 30-15 before rain spoiled the action.
Rafa Nadal is a 22-time Grand Slam champion
In an out-of-the-ordinary situation in Rome recently, 14-time Roland Garros winner Rafael Nadal turned interviewer to discuss the future of tennis with former Italian player and current ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi. “I think it’s a win-win formula. The Masters 1000s are huge events. Sometimes from my personal perspective, the rest of the tournaments are considered much lower than Grand Slams, so I think our goal, as ATP, should be to put our tournaments closer and closer to the Slams in terms of promotion and importance. We need to encourage the tournaments to keep growing,” said Nadal. Missing the US Open wouldn’t be the first case of Djokovic missing a tournament in the US. In March, the Serbian was forced to pull out from the Indian Wells and the Miami Masters. Apart from that, he was also forced to miss the Australian Open due to his stand on vaccination.