Rafael Nadal’s French Open set streak is over. His pursuit of a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title—including 14 at Roland Garros—remains very much intact.
Nadal shrugged off dropping a set in Paris for the first time in two years and regained control yesterday, whipping violent forehands punctuated with fist pumps and yells of “Vamos!” (“Let’s go!”) en route to a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 victory over 10th-seeded Diego Schwartzman to reach the semi-finals at the clay-court major for a record-extending 14th time.
After taking the last nine games against Schwartzman, No. 3 seed Nadal will play in tomorrow’s semi-finals against No. 1 Novak Djokovic, a rematch of last year’s final and their 58th meeting anywhere. The other men’s semi will be Stefanos Tsitsipas vs. Alexander Zverev.
Nadal, who turned 35 last week, is 105-2 for his career at Roland Garros. He is just two wins from eclipsing the men’s mark for most total Grand Slam singles championships that he currently shares with Roger Federer.
In addition to his 13 trophies at Roland Garros—four in a row 2005-08, five in a row 2010-14 and another four in a row so far since 2017—the Spanish left-hander has won four titles at the US Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the Australian Open.
Curfew kicks in during Djokovic’s quarter-final match, unsettling fans
Play was temporarily suspended during the fourth set of the quarter-final between Novak Djokovic and Matteo Berrettini to impose a pandemic-related curfew set at 11 p.m. Fans were expected to leave at 10:45 p.m. but many did not and even started chanting “we’ve paid, we’ll stay.” Some even jeered those who left.
Djokovic was up 2-1 in sets and leading 3-2 when play was halted on Court Philippe-Chatrier. At 10:55 p.m. both players packed their bags and walked off down the tunnel while fans jeered and one shouted out “Rip-off!” Within a few minutes the main stadium was almost completely empty.
Serb Djokovic eventually went on to book his place in the semis after prevailing 6-3, 6-2. 6-7 (5/7), 7-5.