Second set: Nadal 6-3, 1-3 Schwartzman* (*denotes next server) Nadal has won the last 35 sets he has played in Paris. Could this be the one where the run is broken? Hmmm, a straightforward game on Nadal’s serve gets things moving in the right direction for the 35-year-old. He’s 3-1 down.
Second set: Nadal* 6-3, 0-3 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) Six points in a row for Schwartzman, who races into a 30-0 lead before Nadal’s topspin finally gets the better of him. But this is heartening stuff from the Argentinian, who consolidates his break with a good hold. Woof.
Second set: Nadal 6-3, 0-2 Schwartzman* (*denotes next server) Nadal comes to the net (!!!) and gets punished, with Schwartzman hurling a forehand towards the Spaniard’s shoelaces. From 30-0 down, all of a sudden Schwartzman has a chance to break and smashes an in-out forehand cross court, which Nadal can only shunt into the net. Schwartzman breaks! Game on!
Second set: Nadal* 6-3, 0-1 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) Just as he did in the first set, Schwartzman starts well, this time with a comfortable hold. He needs to be aggressive if he has any chance from here. He’s capable of beating Nadal, as he did at the Italian Open last year in straight sets.
Nadal wins first set against Schwartzman 6-3!
First set: Nadal 6-3 Schwartzman. The Spaniard serves out the set easily enough – although he does produce another double fault – evidence perhaps that Schwartzman’s impressive start has unsettled him a tad? Anyway, that’s the 36th set Nadal has won in a row at Roland Garros. Astonishing stuff. And with that, I will hand you back to Michael Butler.
A slow shutter speed shot of Rafael Nadal getting into position for a return during the first set of his match against Diego Schwartzman. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
at 10.22am EDT
First set: Nadal* 5-3 Schwartzman – Three breaks of serve in a row now! The Argentinian shows huge character to battle back from 0-40 down – but then, shockingly, double faults to gift the advantage back to the Spaniard. The following rally is another punishing affair, with both players striking the ball wonderfully. But Schwartzman sends a forehand long – and Nadal can serve for the opening set.
at 10.11am EDT
First set: Nadal 4-3 Schwartzman* – Just when I thought Nadal had firmly established the narrative for this match, with his first break of serve, the world No 10 breaks straight back for 4-3! A rare double fault during that game from Nadal, and a strangely mishit forehand that sank into the net and handed Schwartzman three gilt-edged break points.
at 10.06am EDT
First set: Nadal* 4-2 Schwartzman – Power and precision is the name of the game for Nadal who rushes to 0-40 on the Argentinian’s serve and then clips a dismissive forehand winner which kisses the line and seals the first service break of the match. The Argentinian has done very little wrong, and yet, he was simply not in that last game and was utterly powerless to combat the Spaniard’s brilliance on this surface.
at 10.00am EDT
First set: Nadal 3-2 Schwartzman* – the Spaniard hammers a forehand winner, angled crosscourt, to bring up his latest hold. That was far from straightforward though: Schwartzman made a big statement of intent with his own crushing, clean winner in the first point of the game. The level is very high, and Schwartzman is setting about his work with relish, genuinely wanting to take Nadal on at his own game.
at 9.57am EDT
First set: Nadal* 2-2 Schwartzman. Gutsy and skilful stuff from the Argentinian to fire back from 15-40 and eventually hold serve – including a stunning lob to fashion the advantage from which he takes the game. Well played!
Now serving, Schwartzman sends another ambitious attempted winner wide – then nets forehand to hand Nadal a couple of break points. The Argentinian saves both, launching himself into his groundstrokes and forcing Nadal on to the back foot. Great stuff.
at 9.47am EDT
Nadal rounds off a comfortable hold with a textbook looping, swerving forehand winner down the line at the end of an attritional baseline rally. It’s 2-1 and with serve. Schwartzman has started impressively in this match, but Nadal mostly looks more comfortable in the rallies so far, which is hardly surprising.
Rafael Nadal serves to Diego Schwartzman. Photograph: Benoît Tessier/Reuters
at 9.50am EDT
Whoah! Schwartzman drills a big backhand winner from outside the tramlines that bounces precisely in the corner to make it 15-15. Attack is going to be the best form of defence … he follows that up with another fizzing winner that wrongfoots the 13-times champion, and holds serve comfortably, rewarded for his attacking intent. It’s 1-1 and with serve in the first.
at 9.39am EDT
Nadal holds serve comfortably to begin the match: that opening game was notable for Schwartzman clearly being ready and willing to take on his shots. He hit one particularly ambitious forehand down the line that bounced wide.
at 9.40am EDT
Nadal v Schwartzman is under way.
Meanwhile, some Coco Gauff quotes here (courtesy of PA Media) on her defeat by Krejcikova earlier today: “I’m obviously disappointed that I wasn’t able to close out the first set. To be honest, it’s in the past, it already happened. After the match, Enzo, my hitting partner, told me this match will probably make me a champion in the future. I really do believe that.
“This one will be on my mind for a couple days, for sure. I think just reflecting on it, it’s over, so I’m not going to say, ‘Oh, if I did this, if I did that’. I think in the moment I did what I thought was the best decision and I have to stick on that.”
An admirably healthy and mature attitude from the 17-year-old after a disappointing day. She is a champion in the making, there is no question about that.
at 9.40am EDT
Now, Nadal and Schwartzman are out on Court Philippe-Chatrier for their quarter-final meeting. The sun continues to beat down on the healthy smattering of fans in the arena, who will be hoping the Argentinian can find a way to trouble the king of clay.
at 9.29am EDT
The women’s singles semi-final lineup is confirmed:
Barbora Krejcikova v Maria Sakkari (17)
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (31) v Tamara Zidansek
Who would have predicted that last-four lineup? No one, that’s who! The 17th seed is the top-ranked player left: remarkable stuff.
at 9.23am EDT
Thanks, Michael. It was just last year that Iga Swiatek announced herself on the global stage by winning this tournament, but that still feels like a seismic shock that Maria Sakkari has just pulled off. It will be interesting to hear Swiatek speak so we can find out a bit more the extent of her injury. Has she paid a price for a demanding run in the doubles competition, too?
at 9.19am EDT
Gonna grab some lunch. Here’s Luke McLaughlin to take you through the next 45 mins-hour.
As for Swiatek, a disappointing end to what seemed to be another very promising tournament. She left Chatrier with her head bowed, and we don’t know physically how she was struggling with that strapped right thigh. That’s only her second ever defeat at Roland Garros, she just couldn’t compete with Sakkari today, who is a real dark horse for the title this year.
I’m speechless! My gameplan? I’m not going to tell, as we will play again for sure. I spoke to myself. It’s a very important match, but just enjoy it. This is one of the best stadiums in the world so I have to enjoy it.
She also is invited to speak in her native Greek, but I’m afraid I haven’t the foggiest what she said. With her compatriot Stefanos Tsitsipas due to play in the men’s semi-final on Friday against Alexander Zverev, what a tournament this is for Greek tennis.
Sakkari wins 6-4, 6-4! Swiatek, the defending champion, is out!
Absolutely magnificent from Sakkari. She plays a deft drop shot to leave Swiatek stranded in the first point, aces her opponent in her second and hits a cross-court winner to bring her three match points. The crowd rise to cheer, but Sakkari looks eager to get on with it. Fair play to Swiatek, though, who twice hits fierce return winners to save two match points, but the Pole can only bunt the third return into the tramlines. Sakkari wins, and sinks to her knees in celebration! Wow!
Maria Sakkari celebrates after winning her quarter final match against Iga Swiatek. Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters
at 9.07am EDT
Second set: Sakkari* 6-4, 5-4 Swiatek (*denotes next server) It doesn’t look like Swiatek is struggling physically, but she’s certainly not hitting her shots. Sakkari slightly let’s her off the hook in this game with some unusually sloppy shots, but the 25-year-old seems happy to save her energy for the next decisive service game.
Second set: Sakkari 6-4, 5-3 Swiatek* (*denotes next server) This is brilliant, clean hitting from Sakkari. Swiatek has no answer to the first serves, which vary in pace and direction, the last of which closes out the game with an ace. Swiatek is serving to stay in the match.
Second set: Sakkari* 6-4, 4-3 Swiatek (*denotes next server) Swiatek goes to 40-15 before Sakkari rips a venomous cross-court forehand. The Pole is lucky with a couple of breaks off the net, and just about holds her serve, although it is more down to Sakkari missing her shots than Swiatek making her’s. Two more games for a semi-final at Roland Garros, and you wouldn’t bet against Sakkari, she’s won 80% of her first serves.
Second set: Sakkari 6-4, 4-2 Swiatek* (*denotes next server) Absolutely ruthless serving from Sakkari. Two aces to hold her serve and indeed her nerve. Let’s not underestimate how difficult it was to come through her opponent’s medical timeout with the same winning mentality.
Second set: Sakkari* 6-4, 3-2 Swiatek (*denotes next server) Swiatek is once again under pressure, two break points down. But she hits a clean winner, and sarcastically throws her arms up into the air as if to say to the crowd: “Wayyyyy, I actually won one!” However demonstrative that gesture might be, it seems to have given Swiatek a bit of confidence and she cruises to a service hold with a series of brilliant winners. We’re not at last-chance saloon but she’s going for her shots, which is more than she was doing at the start of the set.
Iga Swiatek of Poland hits a forehand. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images
at 8.55am EDT
Second set: Sakkari 6-4, 3-1 Swiatek* (*denotes next server) Sakkari finds her rhythm once more with the one-two punch of drop shots and devastating, deep groundstrokes. From her in-game grunts to the celebratory cheers, Sakkari is certainly a lot more vocal on court, with constant glances to her encouraging corner. Perhaps she is winning the mental battle as well as the physical one. The Greek goes 3-1 up.
Second set: Sakkari* 6-4, 2-1 Swiatek (*denotes next server) Swiatek is certainly moving OK, and after going to 40-15, she hits a wonderful forehand down the line – a shot she has been struggling with all day – that finds the corner. Nobody would accuse Swiatek of gamesmanship, but Sakkari must be quietly fuming at the momentum change. She was flying before her opponent’s medical timeout.
Sakkari is now pacing around the baseline, restless. Swiatek has three minutes to resolve whatever her physical issue is. The defending comes back on court to lukewarm applause from the 5,000-strong crowd. Swiatek has some strapping on her right thigh. That’s nearly 10 minutes without any tennis. Let’s hope the Pole is OK to continue.
Sakkari doesn’t look best pleased, as she sits in her seat, waiting for Swiatek, who has had to actually leave Chatrier for a medical timeout. The trainer was looking at the top of her thigh, perhaps something to do with Swiatek’s hip? There certainly seems to be a bit of stiffness in her twisting, which is obviously important to just about any tennis shot.
Second set: Sakkari 6-4, 2-0 Swiatek* (*denotes next server) An easy hold for Sakkari, who is continuing to dominate. That’s five games on the bounce, after being 4-3 down in the first set. Perhaps that wasn’t a comfort break for Swiatek between the two sets, as she is calling on the trainer/doctor. What is the isssue here? It’s unclear, but whatever it is, it stops the momentum of the match irreversibly into Sakkari’s favour, albeit briefly.
Second set: Sakkari* 6-4, 1-0 Swiatek (*denotes next server) Swiatek briefly left the court in the break, presumably to pop to the loo, but also to try and get her head around what just happened there. After a quick start, it’s been all Sakkari. And so it proves here in the second set. The comfort break does Swiatek no good as her forehand completely abandons her. Sakkari breaks once more – the Greek’s defence is ferocious, she covers the back of the court so quickly and Swiatek is left reaching for shots that she has no chance of making at present.
Sakkari takes the first set 6-4!
Finally, Swiatek wakes from her slumber, punishing a sloppy second serve with a cross-court forehand that felt like it was hit with a lot of anger. But Sakkari responds with her own blows, seeing a set point saved by Swiatek before the Greek save a break point with a frankly ridiculous second serve, which bounces so high and wide that even prime Andy Murray would have a job getting to it. Back to deuce then, but before a flurry of Sakkari groundstrokes slowly wears Swiatek down. The first set belongs to the underdog! The defending champion has a real job on her hands, here!
Maria Sakkari celebrates winning the first set. Photograph: Javier García/BPI/REX/Shutterstock
at 8.19am EDT
First set: Sakkari* 5-4 Swiatek (*denotes next server) You have to say that Sakkari is looking the more lilely to win this set – fistbumps a plenty as she defends stoutly from the back of the court and takes her chances to hit clean winners when she can. Two break points for the Greek, then, and Swiatek skews one well right to give Sakkari the break! Sakkari will serve for the first set!
First set: Sakkari 4-4 Swiatek* (*denotes next server) Sakkari has such a unique serve, particularly her second serve. Her toss is so far behind her sometimes that he appears to be at a right angle. The result is serve that, although slow-ish, kicks viciously off the clay. SO MUCH SPIN. It’s too much for Swiatek, who cedes the game to love.
First set: Sakkari* 3-4 Swiatek (*denotes next server) A brief pause with some small amount of alarm in the crowd. Has somebody fainted? It’s unclear but there is a small crowd of people congregated around somebody high up in the stands. The players wait, but it doesn’t seem a serious issue, whatever it is. Swiatek uses the pause to reset and serves to love. It’s not her best stuff, but she leads the first set. One of the best things about her game is how she rushes her opponents into shots, and that’s exactly what happens here: Sakkari hitting into the net and then long.
First set: Sakkari 3-3 Swiatek* (*denotes next server) Sakkari is definitely winning the battle of the body language, bobbing up and down on the baseline between points, while Swiatek has a perma-grimace written all over her face. You feel like Swiatek has a couple of gears to go up yet, with Sakkari dominated the rallies, pinning Swiatek back with ground strokes before a lovely drop shot leaves the Pole stranded at the back of the court. A good hold for Sakkari.
First set: Sakkari* 2-3 Swiatek (*denotes next server) The first audible grunts float across the airwaves from Sakkari as she feels her way into this match. Swiatek, still silent, misses a forehand down the line – she struggled with that shot in the previous round against Marta Kostyuk – before a double fault hands two break points to Sakkari. Swiatek battles back to deuce. A ridiculous cross-court winner from Sakkari is cancelled out by a Swiatek first serve down the middle, before the Pole tempts her opponent in with a drop shot and then fires a fierce winner past Sakkari to close out the game.
Iga Swiatek of Poland hits a forehand. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
at 7.59am EDT
Source by www.theguardian.com