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French Open | Nadal facing uphill struggle

French Open | Nadal facing uphill struggle

Defending champion Rafael Nadal will resume his quarter-final match with Diego Schwartzman on Court Philipp Chatrier at 10.00 am GMT having, no doubt, had a troublesome night wondering how to deal with the diminutive Argentine Dervish nicknamed ‘El Peque’ which basically means ‘Shortie’, a set up when rain suspended all matches on Wednesday.

Nadal found difficulty in dealing with the aggressive play emanating from his opponent’s racket as his consecutive run of sets won at Roland Garros was snapped at 37, four short of the record set by Bjorn Borg.

Breaks were swapped twice in the first set before 25-year-old Schwartzman broke the Nadal serve for a third time to lead 5-4. Schwartzman then saw two set points come and go but at the third time of asking, following a delay while a spectator was helped out after feeling ill, the Argentine ripped a forehand winner to take the set 6-4.

'El Peque' Diego Schwartzman (R) shows deft touch at the net

Nadal, who had been in imperious form in all his previous matches, looked perplexed as he couldn’t find an answer. The alarm bells must have rung in his camp when Schwartzman broke early in the second to go 3-1 up. But then the rains came bring to a halt the Argentine’s momentum.

However, the defending champion struck back immediately on their return and snatched to take over control and go into a 5-3 lead when a second break was enforced by another downpour, this time bringing all action to a close for the day.

The winner will face either Juan Martin del Potro or Marin Cilic, who were locked at 5-5 in a first-set tiebreak on Court Suzanne Lenglen.


About The Author

Henry Wancke

Henry Wancke is one of the most respected Tennis writers in the UK. Henry is the Editor of both Tennis Threads Magazine and tennisthreads.net. He previously worked as Editor of Tennis World, Serve & Volley as well as Tennis Today magazines and been stringer for The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian and Press Association. He also co-authored the Ultimate Encyclopaedia of Tennis with John Parsons published by Carlton, and the Federation Cup – the first 32 years, published by the ITF. Currently he is the Secretary of the Lawn Tennis Writers’ Association and Hon Vice President of the Tennis Industry Association UK.

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