Rafael Nadal explains taping on his wrist during French Open quarter-final

Tuesday, 12 Jun, 2018

The lens is actually wider and should accommodate the greatest single-surface player, and while the debate for the Greatest of All Time may never be settled, the Greatest Single-Surface Player of All-Time until his time, is probably the man from Mallorca.

They tried their best to rouse their man in the third set but it was mission impossible as Nadal, clubbing the ball as if his life depended on it, churned out winners. Cilic is serving at love-30 in the 11th game.

Del Potro missed another chance at 2-0 in the second set and from that point there was only going to be one victor.

"I am a human person", Nadal said following his 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory.

During the changeover after the set, a trainer came out to tape both of left-handed Nadal's wrists.

"You can win a set, but not a match against Rafa", said Del Potro keen not to over-egg any hint of weakness in Nadal's game.

At just 19, Nadal became the youngest victor of a Grand Slam title since Michael Chang won at Roland Garros in 1989 at 17. Last year, he took the trophy without dropping a set. In this tournament, Nadal's only lost one set.

However, the Austrian is wary that a best-of-five-set Grand Slam match represents a different challenge, especially at a tournament where the Spaniard has been beaten only twice in 87 matches. It was part of a run in which he claimed 14 of the last 17 games to overwhelm the No. 5-seeded del Potro 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 and earn yet another spot in the title match at Court Philippe Chatrier.

The freedom with which Schwartzman had played in the first set had disappeared, errors which had been rare becoming increasingly regular.

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

"If lost that tiebreak it would have been a very close match I think and I didn't want that".

But Schwartzman continued to be the aggressor as Nadal played too short, or too long. "Then I changed a little bit of tactics and it worked".

What is definitely true: Thiem has never been to a Grand Slam final until now.

In the quarter-finals, he even dropped his first set in Paris since 2015 to Diego Schwartzman before sprinting to a four-set win. He is 10-0 in French Open finals and 77-0 at the tournament overall when he wins the first set, so getting a jump on him early - a tactic far easier to write about than to execute - would seem to be a fairly obvious strategy.

Halep next faces third-seeded Garbine Muguruza.

In the other remaining quarterfinal, also suspended on Wednesday, No. 3 Marin Cilic and No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro will resume at 5-all in a first-set tiebreaker.

He was inconvenienced by a couple of break points as he served for the third set with 11th seed Schwarztman, a 5ft 7in live wire, refusing to go away quietly.

When they returned to the court, Nadal used a burst of three straight games - and 13 of 15 points - to close in on taking the second set. Thiem won 76 percent of his total service points and saved five of his six break points.

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

Cecchinato, whose career was nearly derailed two years ago by a match-fixing scandal before his name was cleared, stopped the rot in the sixth game.

The defending champion was imperious after an uncertain start, easing to his 24th win in 27 Grand Slam semifinals to end Del Potro's hopes of securing a second major title - nine years after his U.S. Open triumph.

She needed only 70 minutes to eliminate Sharapova and dominated her with superb returning, breaking the former No. 1 a half-dozen times.