Before a large and dedicated public, whose return to sporting events has its advantages and disadvantages for the players, Rafa Nadal put out a tough match against Diego Schwartzman in the Roland Garros quarterfinals (6-3, 4-6, 6-4 and 6-0 at 2:45). The Balearic Islands were harmed at times by the untimely shouts of the spectators, who wanted to monetize the price of tickets in a long and disputed match. That is why they encouraged the Argentine a lot. “Diego, Diego, Diego …”. Although they also gave the 13-time champion the gasoline that he surely missed in the form of clamor and applause when he managed to win some spectacular points. “Thank you all very much,” he said after his victory.
In that roller coaster of emotions, Nadal reached the tournament’s semi-finals for the 14th time, 35th among the four Grand Slams, although he dropped a set along the way and his streak in Paris stopped at 36 consecutive since the 2019 final against Thiem. On Friday he will face Novak Djokovic or Matteo Berrettini, who have faced each other since eight in the new night session, which for the first time fans will be able to follow in the stadium for the two-hour delay of the curfew, until 23:00.
* Vintage @Rafael Nadal you have entered the chat * 😯#Roland Garros pic.twitter.com/vu6dPX7h83
– Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 9, 2021
It had been two years since Roland Garros had a day like this Wednesday, with the Philippe Chatrier stands not full, but with an atmosphere more typical of pre-pandemic tennis. Around 5,000 people lived the match with passion, thanks to the relaxation of anti-COVID protocols in the French capital, which allow more capacity as long as a health pass is presented with an antigen test, a PCR, a vaccination card or a certificate that indicates that the disease has been passed. With the people the bullfighting chants, the shouts, the animation and the occasional departure from tone returned. The bustle, wow.
Action and reaction
On the court, Schwartzman tried again to overtake Nadal and succeeded in the second set and up to 3-4 in the third., when the Spaniard, infuriated by a few very celebrated positive actions and in which he was encouraged with rage, took the controls and no longer wavered. He had gone through bad times, partly due to the Buenos Aires’ merits and largely due to his own errors in auctions, serves and blows that escaped him. He argued with the chair umpire, the Frenchman Dumusois. In those moments of inspiration of one and anxiety of the other, an anomaly was experienced in the Philippe Chatrier, cleared in a fourth express heat in which the world number three placed a donut for a global partial of 9-0 to the good of Diego, which is far behind (11-1) in the face to face. I was afraid that with the sun, Rafa would become invincible and in the end it was despite the fact that sporadically some clouds appeared. The star scattered them and had a great time.
Among the virtues that he displayed, apart from mobility, the effectiveness of the second serves, with 68% of points won with them, and the 35 winning strokes. In addition, the victory, even with that stumble in the second round, serves him a lot because it was like a test bed of rhythm, tension and pressure at the right moment, when the highest rounds arrive, the moment of truth.
Results, table and calendar.