Rafael Nadal reached the French Open semi-finals yet again after beating Diego Schwartzman and Mats Wilander believes the Spaniard is “unbeatable”.
Schwartzman threw absolutely everything he could at his opponent but it still wasn’t enough as Nadal progressed through to the last four at Roland Garros for the 14th time in his illustrious career.
Nadal and Schwartzman served up an absolute treat on Wednesday afternoon in their hotly-anticipated quarter-final clash on Court Philippe Chatrier and the Argentine held his own for much of it.
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But with the match in the balance midway through the third set, the 13-time champion at Roland Garros stepped up his intensity to a remarkable level to pull away and win through, and Wilander cannot see him being beaten.
“Schwartzman plays with so much power and he bothers Rafa so much – it’s amazing,” Wilander told Eurosport.
“It was an incredible level from him until the end of the third set, and then Rafa just went another step above and you cannot stay with him.
Great job from Diego Schwartzman but Rafa… this tells me he is unbeatable.
Watch the moment Nadal reached French Open semi-finals for 14th time
Fellow Eurosport expert Mischa Zverev added: “It’s hard to describe with words, but people can hang in there for a while with Rafa but then they get tired and Rafa just doesn’t.
“It feels like he could play for three, four, five hours. He could play for seven sets if he needs to, because every point against Rafa you need to win it yourself.
“Rafa is not going to lose it, and that can be exhausting as you have to put so much effort into every shot, it’s incredible.”
There were any number of remarkable points as the pair traded stunning efforts from the back of the court, but for all Schwartzman’s efforts, Nadal always seemed to have another gear and he demonstrated this very clearly in the fourth set.
‘Amazing’ Nadal shot leaves Schwartzman scratching his head
Schwartzman looked convinced that he had won the point at 3-3 40-15 in the second set, having lost the opener, with a blazing forehand down the line that surely would have beaten most players.
But Nadal not only managed to get it back in play with a reflex sliding backhand that sliced its way over the net but he left Schwartzman unable to make a counter effort.
It was so ridiculous that the Argentine was literally left scratching his head mid-court in disbelief that he had not closed out the game with what felt like a winner down the line.
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Schwartzman was very much in the contest until midway through the fourth set when Nadal simply stamped his authority on proceedings and found a level his opponent could not live with.
A huge contest with world number one Novak Djokovic is potentially on the cards for the semi-finals with Nadal having sealed his progression.
A Nadal v Djokovic clash in the last four would be an encounter fans would love and it would be a repeat from last year’s final in the postponed autumnal edition.
The three most successful players in the history of the men’s game have won 17 of the last 20 Grand Slam titles between them.
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