Rafael Nadal reached a record-extending 14th Roland Garros semifinal on Wednesday with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 win over Diego Schwartzman, setting up a potential last-four showdown with world No 1 Novak Djokovic.
Nadal, bidding for a 14th Roland Garros title and record 21st major triumph, dropped his first set at the tournament since 2019 – ending a run of 36 consecutive sets won in Paris by the Spanish third seed.
The 35-year-old Nadal improved his incredible Roland Garros record to 105 wins and two losses as he advanced to his 35th Grand Slam semifinal. He beat Argentine 10th seed Schwartzman in the last four of the 2020 edition.
“It’s always incredible for me to return to the semifinals for another time,” said Nadal.
“Diego is such an amazing player with so much talent, today was a very difficult challenge.”
Nadal and Schwartzman had both progressed to the last eight without dropping a set.
After Nadal took the opener he faltered while serving to stay in the second set, shanking long to concede his first set at Roland Garros since beating Dominic Thiem in four sets in the 2019 final.