Del Potro defeats Cilic to reach semifinals

Del Potro defeats Cilic to reach semifinals

"It was someone who made a loud [sound] before my serve, and I made [a] double fault", Del Potro said. The most recent match was in the 2017 US Open, a match Nadal won in four sets.

In dropping the opener on Wednesday, Nadal had lost a set at Roland Garros for the first time since a 2015 quarter-final defeat by Novak Djokovic. And so it proved.

Del Potro fought back tears during his post-match interview and was loudly cheered by fans at Court Suzanne Lenglen. Del Potro has lost once in the French Open semifinal, which was in 2009.

With Nadal recording 0.96 chances per game on return this season on clay, it is evident that Del Potro will have to serve much better to even have a chance of keeping it close against the King of Clay, who has broken opponents 50.5% of the time on clay in the last 12 months. Additionally, emotion and momentum has to be on the side of Del Potro, who is thrilled to be at this stage, while Nadal faces all the pressure of expectations.

"It's a challenge that every player wants to have", he said. I'm not really interested by all these things, and I don't think that - you can't really know the reality of how old is your body.

Del Potro needed only two points to pocket the first set as Cilic blinked first, netting a routine forehand a 5-6.

Del Potro said resuming a match at 5-5 in a tiebreak with his serve to come had been a odd situation but his aim was true and he moved 6-5 ahead before his cagey backhand slice induced a poor forehand error by Cilic. Halep saved two match points to win that one.

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"Sometimes you play better, sometimes you are more nervous". "If I play defensively and I don't take intensity, I will be lost".

"I think for me it's time to move on to make a great step, because I'm turning 25 (in September). It was like a new match after the first set". The second set like, the first was dominated by serve until Cilic fired himself up to break at 4-4 - a furious Del Potro throwing his racket at the changeover.

The delay enabled Nadal to regroup and he turned the deficit into a 5-3 lead before a second stoppage ended play for the day.

"I'm still trying to find the right person", he joked.

The injured-plagued former US Open champion battled through in three hours and 50 minutes after the match had been delayed by rain on Wednesday to reach the last four at Roland Garros for the second time, but first in nine years.

- Is playing in the semi-finals for the first time since 2009 after years of injury woe.

Serving for the match Del Potro was given an easy ride as Cilic blazed three backhands in succession long.

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