ATP Roland Garros: Rafael Nadal loses a set against Schwartzman before bagels him



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ATP Roland Garros: Rafael Nadal loses a set against Schwartzman before bagels him

The 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal is through to his 14th semi-final in Paris following a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 in two hours and 45 minutes. Nadal scored the 11th victory over Schwartzman in 12 meetings, losing a set and raising his level after that to remain on the course for the 21st Major crown.

In a repeat of the last year's semi-final, Nadal lost a set for the first time at Roland Garros after 2019 final and 36 straight he won, ending the streak but still emerging at the top for his 105th triumph in Paris from 107 matches.

Nadal will play in his 35th Major quarter-final, becoming the third player to reach that number after Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, who could be his next rival if he beats Matteo Berrettini later today. Diego threw everything he had at Rafa in the opening three hours, overpowering the Spaniard until 4-4 in the third set when Rafa shifted into a higher gear and rattled off the last eight games to cross the finish line in style.

Nadal had to dig deep to follow the rival's pace, missing some easy groundstrokes but still hitting 35 winners and 29 unforced mistakes to overpower the opponent. Schwartzman grabbed three breaks from four chances, and Nadal responded with seven return games that carried him home, alongside a marvelous performance in the shortest range up to four strokes.

Rafael Nadal defeated Diego Schwartzman in four sets to reach the last four in Paris.

They traded breaks in games six and seven in the opener, and Nadal earned another at 4-3 when Schwartzman sprayed a forehand mistake.

Serving for the set, the Spaniard placed a forehand winner in game nine for an early lead after 42 minutes. Diego started all over in set number two and played on a very high level to control the pace and impose his strokes.

The Argentine opened a 3-0 advantage before Nadal pulled the break back in game five to stay in touch. Still, it wasn't to be for the king of clay, as Schwartzman grabbed another break at 5-4 to become the first player who took a set from Rafa in Paris in two years.

Diego pushed strong in set number three again, dropping three points in the opening four service games and challenging Rafa to repeat that if he wanted to stay in touch. Like many times before, Nadal raised his level and earned the crucial break at 30 at 4-4 to gather all the momentum.

The Spaniard held at love in the tenth game to secure the set and become a massive favorite in the fourth. There was only one player on the court in the fourth set, as Nadal claimed 25 out of 30 points to leave the opponent far behind and secure the 23rd bagel at Roland Garros that pushed him over the top in style.