Del Potro failed to capitalise on early advantage against Nadal - Wilander

GETTYRafael Nadal is in the French Open quarter-finals

That did not prevent his uncle from delivering some tactical advice ahead of the final. "I don't know if I will win, but I will take big love from you and that's most important for me".

"I can not believe it now", Karin Thiem, a tennis coach, told a group of reporters.

"He managed to do it well".

The fifth-seeded Argentine is back to the semifinals in Paris for the first time since 2009 - which is the year he went on to win the U.S. Open for his only major title.

He is the only man to beat the world number one on clay in the last two years - in Madrid this spring and in Rome last year.

"But I believe I will be ready for the final".

The No. 1-ranked Nadal compiled a 35-20 edge in winners while making only 19 unforced errors Friday.

Halep is still chasing her first Grand Slam title.

Thiem insists he has a "plan" against Nadal, one which he hopes translates to the longer best-of-five set format.

Nadal defeated 3-2 with 6-4, 6-1 and 6-2 sets in a 2 hour 14 minute victory.

Earlier, Thiem needed to survive a nasty bout of the jitters to see off Marco Cecchinato and reach his first grand slam final. "I'm so happy to be in the final again", said Nadal afterward.

Tears welled in the eyes of the now 11-time champion as he was applauded by the crowd.

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro felled Marin Cilic in a French Open clash of the titans, winning 7-6 (5) 5-7 6-3 7-5 on Thursday, and will now aim his heavy artillery at 10-times champion Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. And Francis Roig (Nadal's coach) said: You have to win another tournament to play with him!

No contest Andy Murray and Roger Federer have been absent.

His uncle thought wrapping around Nadal's left forearm was too tight.

Nadal then served out that game. At the following changeover, he was given a salt pill by a doctor and had his left forearm massaged by a trainer.

There have, however, appeared to be one or two chinks in Nadal's armour at Roland Garros this year.

It was the Austrian's third consecutive appearance in the semifinals at Roland Garros.

Schwartzman had the first advantage but dropped on a forehand shot. "It was like a new match after the first set".

Thiem, who beat Nadal in Madrid this season, Rome previous year and in Buenos Aires on clay in 2016, trails 3-6 in the pair's head-to-head.

Until 4-all, 15-all in the opening set, to be precise.

But he will need an even more Herculean effort to get past Nadal, although he did take a set off the great Spaniard when they met in the Australian Open fourth round earlier this year. Since then, the Spaniard has been imperious.

Just like that, Nadal was off on a five-game burst to lead 3-0 in the second set.

Kerber is a two-time Grand Slam champion.

She endured an eight-match losing streak after leaving NY, going 0-6 for the rest of 2017 and then 0-2 to begin 2018, including a first-round loss at the Australian Open.

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