Passport to RG, Day 10—After Thiem marathon, Rafa next for Schwartzman

Passport to RG, Day 10—After Thiem marathon, Rafa next for Schwartzman

Two points from going out in four sets, Diego Schwartzman rallied to edge Dominic Thiem after five hours and eight minutes on Tuesday at Roland Garros. He joined countrywoman Nadia Podoroska in reaching the semifinals of a major for the first time.

From first ball to last, keep up to date with the latest from Roland Garros every day on TENNIS.com. We'll have match updates, photos, video highlights and more in our daily notebook: Passport to RG. 


Title No. 13 watch officially on for Rafa

With his 7-6 (4), 6-4, 6-1 victory over Jannik Sinner, at 1:26 a.m. local time in Paris, world No. 2 Rafael Nadal has returned to the place Dominic Thiem describes as "his living room."

Once reaching the final four at Roland Garros, Nadal is 24-0 at the event. The man who handed the 34-year-old a surprising loss in Rome prior to this tournament, Diego Schwartzman, will hope to change all of that history come Friday. A title run would see Nadal improve his astonishing career mark at the clay-court major to 100-2.

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Nadal a set away from his 13th RG semifinal

With Jannik Sinner serving at 4-4, 40-15, Rafael Nadal found a way to break the teenager. Sinner pushed the left-hander to deuce in the 10th game, though the Spaniard took the final two points to open up a two-set lead. Nadal is 82-0 at the clay-court major once he has a two-set lead. 

Total points won so far: Nadal 77, Sinner 72. Time on court: two hours and 12 minutes.


Schwartzman, Thiem react to five-set marathon

Diego Schwartzman on putting earlier disappointments behind him: "It was a tough situation because in the fourth, he started playing so well. I did the comeback, serving 5-4, 40-Love. He played three unreal points, amazing points, because he's one of the best and he can do it. At that time I was thinking, 'Okay, c'mon, today is not going to happen.' I had a lot of opportunities, easy, tough ones, hard. Every single opportunity was different. I didn't [take] it. Then the tiebreak was crazy. I played an amazing tiebreak in the fourth. In the fifth, I keep doing the same thing, being solid. At the end I think physically I finish better than him."

Dominic Thiem on his good friend tipping the scale in the end: "At the net I just told him that he deserves it. I think he's for the first time Top 10 with that win. That's also [a] great achievement. First Grand Slam semifinals. I mean, we both gave everything. Well, the thing in tennis is that there is one loser, one winner. Despite [being] so disappointed, I'm still happy for him."

Schwartzman on being ready for his next match: "Before this match I was doing a great job winning in three sets. That's why it's very important to win when you have the opportunity in three sets because when [playing] five sets, you have to have the fuel tank full. I was perfect today. I think after two days I'm going to be perfect in [the] semifinal."

Nicolas Gouhier / FFT


Post-midnight playground games


With Sinner serving for the first set, Nadal digs in to grab lead

Playing his 100th career match at Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal probably never expected to start a match after 10:30 p.m. Taking on Jannik Sinner in chilly conditions, with gusts of wind exceeding 30 m.p.h., the 12-time champion wasn't able to assert himself as the King of Clay on the baseline in his first set against the 19-year-old.

Sinner's ball striking, particularly on the backhand side, was strong—eventually contributing to a break for 6-5. Sinner would win an incredible 34-shot exchange to reach deuce, though couldn't consolidate as Nadal lined up successive forehand down the line winners. In the tiebreaker, Nadal used his experience to get aggressive court positioning, taking time away from the hard-hitting Italian to edge ahead, 7-6 (4), after 72 minutes. Have to wonder if that was just a small taste of the running to come for Sinner in the next set. The world No. 75 had his right thigh worked on by the trainer during the set break.

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The first semifinal is set: Swiatek to meet Podoroska

It's never easy to back up a career-defining win. Don't tell that to Iga Swiatek, though. The Pole ends the dream run of Italian qualifier Maria Trevisan, 6-3, 6-1, in the second women's quarterfinal.

Swiatek converted six breaks of serve and wrapped up her day at +1 in the winners/unforced errors differential (20 to 19). Her karma for beating top seed Simona Halep in the round of 16 is a second consecutive match against a qualifier, in a Grand Slam semifinal of all places, as Nadia Podoroska stands between the rising teen and a shot at the trophy. Swiatek is yet to drop a set...


Swiatek wipes away early break deficit to win first set, 6-3

There were some understandable signs of nerves early from Swiatek, who after ousting Halep in convincing fashion and seeing Podoroska take down Elina Svitolina earlier Tuesday, became the clear favorite in the top half of the draw to reach the final.

Swiatek would hit six unforced errors to fall behind an early break, 0-2, to Maria Trevisan, though it was soon negated once she settled in. Looking to keep the ball away from the left-hander's forehand, the 19-year-old used her rock-solid backhand to break for 5-3, then saved two break points before closing out the set in a testing final game.

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With Podoroska and Schwartzman, Argentina goes two-for-two on Roland Garros semifinalists

In one hour and 19 minutes, and five hours and eight minutes, respectively, Nadia Podoroska and Diego Schwartzman reached the final fours at the French Open on Tuesday. Juan Martin del Potro and Gabriela Sabatini, tennis' most beloved Argentines, shared their congratulations over social media:

Now, can Martina Trevisan and Jannik Sinner do the same for Italy? Facing Iga Swiatek and Rafael Nadal, respectively, it would be an even more shocking double.


VAMOS! Two points from losing, Schwartzman reaches first major semifinal

Playing his 300th career tour-level match, Diego Schwartzman topples Dominic Thiem, 7-6 (1), 5-7, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5), 6-2, to achieve his best result on the Grand Slam stage and defeat a Top 5 player for the first time at a major. A potential rematch with Rafael Nadal, who Schwartzman knocked out in the Rome quarterfinals, awaits if the 12-time champion gets past Jannik Sinner.

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Schwartzman breaks for 4-2

Both Diego Schwartzman and Dominic Thiem had protected their serves well through five games in their decider, before four straight unforced errors off Thiem's racquet led to Schwartzman breaking at love for a 4-2 lead as the clock crossed the five-hour mark. Will Schwartzman finally be able to close the door for his biggest result at a major?


To a fifth we go!

He was two points from exiting in four, after seeing so many opportunities to grab hold of his quarterfinal clash with Dominic Thiem evaporate. He was down a mini break on two occasions in a fourth set tiebreaker.

But Diego Schwartzman somehow digs in to force a decider, 7-6 (5), on his fourth set point.

Wow. Wow. Wow. Thiem's fuel tank will truly be tested now, after expending four hours and 34 minutes thus far, following his five-set match against wild card Hugo Gaston.

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Thiem saves three set points to tie 4th set at 5-5

Down an early break in the fourth set, Diego Schwartzman had turned the tide to once again put a set on his racquet. The Argentine led 5-4, 40-0, yet could not find a way to put Dominic Thiem away and force a decider. On the third set point, Thiem absolutely crushed a forehand on the run to deflate his opponent, who could only put his hands on hips and stare at his player box in disbelief. Thiem broke two points later.


Finding a way: Thiem goes up two sets to one

By now, Schwartzman could be celebrating in the locker room with a straight-sets victory over Thiem. "Could" being the operative word, as tightness under pressure has seen Schwartzman fall behind a set to the two-time Roland Garros runner-up. 

Leading 5-3, Schwartzman was broken at love when serving for the third set. In the following game, he suffered a near carbon copy Set 2 nightmare. With Thiem serving at 15-30, the No. 2 seed played a careless, off-balanced drop shot from well behind the baseline. Schwartzman charged forward, and this time, couldn't end the point on his backhand side. He would later get a look at one set point, missing a rally ball forehand, but who knows where this would have headed had Thiem faced a 15-40 hole.

The US Open champion had a hiccup of his own when dropping serve at 6-5, and nearly saw his 5-1 lead in the tiebreaker go to waste when Schwartzman clawed back to 6-6 after saving two set points. Another loose forehand from Schwartzman handed Thiem back the mini break and he closed with a resounding overhead to clinch it, 7-6 (6). The clock after three sets: 3:22.

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Two hours and 13 minutes in, Thiem levels to one-set all

He could have gone down two sets. With some help from the other side of the net, Thiem instead takes the second set, 7-5, to square things up against Schwartzman.

The Argentine fended off seven break points to survive a near 16-minute game for a 5-4 hold. Serving to stay in the set, Thiem fell behind 15-30 and began resorting to uncharacteristic drop shots. Though poorly executed against the speedy Schwartzman, the No. 12 seed failed to put either away in making two surprising unforced errors. In the eyes of Jim Courier, Schwartzman "choked" in that critical juncture and Thiem would find a way to make him pay in the end.

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A GIF or two for you: El Peque's Hot Wheels; Domi's two-handed surprise


Schwartzman battles to one-set lead over Thiem

A critical call that went against him couldn't stop Diego Schwartzman from claiming his first set over a lethargic Dominic Thiem in their quarterfinal clash.

The Austrian initially broke for 4-3 when a forehand slice he hit to end a point was called good, much to Schwartzman's dismay after examining what he believed to be an out ball mark (watch below). A disagreement with the chair umpire followed, and while the Rome finalist was unsuccessful in pleading his case, he broke back in the ensuing game. Schwartzman would hold from 0-30 down in his final two service games, before running away with a tiebreaker, 7-6 (1).


Tarp goes on Chatrier; rain interrupts play on outside courts

With rain moving in the area, the groundskeepers are back to work in Paris. Chatrier has been covered with the tarp. Now begs the question, will this shower be brief enough to keep the roof open?


BREAKING: An unseeded player will play for the women's title

In a quarter of the draw that began with Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Kiki Bertens, Elise Mertens and Elina Svitolina among others, 131st-ranked qualifier Nadia Podoroska is the last woman standing in a Cinderella run to the semifinals.

Appropriately rocking a Disney+ patch, Podoroska stunned the third-seeded Svitolina, 6-2, 6-4, guaranteeing an unseeded player will play in Saturday's final. Podoroska was the aggressor from start to finish with her forehand, and her willingness to keep charging forward and pull out her dropshot befuddled the Ukrainian, who held just once in defeat. Is this the toughest loss of her career given the opportunity at stake?

For a chance to reach the championship match, Podoroska awaits Iga Swiatek or qualifier Martina Trevisan. The Argentine is the first women's qualifier in the Open Era to reach the final four in Paris.


Another big upset on the horizon?

After third seed Elina Svitolina began with a 1-0, 40-30 break lead, first set momentum took a quick turn in Nadia Podoroska's direction. The Argentine qualifier won five consecutive games, opening up the court superbly with a variety of well-shaped forehands. Podoroska surprised the two-time major semifinalist with her drop shot and delivered 17 winners to earn the first set, 6-2. Svitolina did not hold serve, winning just two of her 15 first-serve points.

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Collins tops Jabeur to set all-American quarterfinal

In a match full of twists and turns, Danielle Collins emerges victorious, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, to edge Ons Jabeur in one hour and 58 minutes.

Collins was twice down a break early in the third, and for Jabeur, she'll be thinking about her opportunities to pull away... serving at 1-0 and 2-1, the Tunisian reached game point in both instances and was unable to consolidate. Her first double fault of the day enabled Collins to reach match point, and the American took full advantage to set a showdown with countrywoman Sofia Kenin—who she beat at the start of the year in Adelaide, 6-3, 6-1.

In an on-court interview with Marion Bartoli, Collins spoke about her new partnership with Nicolas Almagro, who is debuting as her coach at this event.

"Nico and I started working with each other last week. So it's all new. I didn't have a coach at the US Open, so I tried to find somebody right away. Luckily I found somebody with an incredible career... somebody that was a Top 10 player. I's a really special treat for me to be able to work with him."

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Shake 'n Fake it


Activate: third set

Great turnaround from Ons Jabeur to get her fourth-round match with Danielle Collins into a deciding set. From a set and a break down, the No. 30 seed hit her stride, finding 14 winners to seven unforced errors. Her finesse more than changed the pace of the match: Collins, after being so vocal in the first half hour, was hardly audible deep in that set.


Antarctica, next?

It's cold, drizzly and windy on Chatrier, though fans came prepared for rough conditions.

"They're going to Antarctica next," joked Martina Navratilova. "It's not a fashion statement. It's a necessity."

Collins went from hot to cold in the matter of minutes. The former Australian Open semifinalist led 6-4, 3-0, winning 12 of the first 13 points in the second set. Jabeur stayed with her and the craftiness we've come to appreciate started to shine through.


Collins breaks late to claim opening set vs. Jabeur

Both Danielle Collins and Ons Jabeur did well in protecting their serves early, but the demonstrative American began to make more of an impact on her return as the first set progressed. Collins leads, 6-4, after breaking the No. 30 seed in the 10th game with a backhand return that Jabeur was unable to handle.

Jabeur isn't one to always contain her emotions... will she continue to let her opponent make all the noise?


No signs of slowing down as Day 10 arrives

Five singles matches will be played out on Court Philippe-Chatrier, with four semifinal berths up for grabs.

After seeing their encounter postponed Monday, Danielle Collins and Ons Jabeur start us off in order to complete the women's final eight. In a first-time meeting, both are coming off impressive wins: Collins overcame a double-break deficit in her deciding set to stun 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza, while Jabeur, the No. 30 seed outclassed eighth-seeded Aryna Sabalenka in three sets.

Third seed Elina Svitolina is a heavy favorite in the day's first quarterfinal, meeting 131-ranked qualifier Nadia Podoroska. The two are followed by a pair of friends on the ATP tour, two-time finalist Dominic Thiem and recent Rome runner-up Diego Schwartzman. Simona Halep's conqueror, Iga Swiatek, next takes on world No. 159 Martina Trevisan, who has already won seven matches in Paris after coming through the qualifying stage. Her countryman Jannik Sinner then rounds out the day in an intriguing clash with 12-time champion Rafael Nadal.  

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