“The last three and a half months have been…”

One thing she didn’t want to do in the later stages of the Grand Slam between 2005 and 2018 was meet Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. The Spaniard played his first major semi-final at Roland Garros 2005 and added 27 semi-finalists to his tally at Roland Garros 2018.

During those 13 years, Rafa only lost three major semi-finals in 2008 and 2009, winning the remaining 24 and having plenty of opportunities to claim a major trophy. Nadal improved his Majors semi-final tally to a mind-boggling 24-3 after his one-sided 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Juan Martin del Potro at Roland Garros 2018.

It took the Spaniard two hours and ten minutes to emerge at the top and advance to the eleventh Roland Garros Final. This was Rafa’s 450 meet on clay and the 414th win, losing only 36 games on the beloved surface at the time.

Nadal defeated Del Potro for the tenth time in 15 matches and scored his 236th victory in Major. It was Juan Martin’s best result in Paris in nine years, but he was unable to compete for a place in the final after losing ground in the second and third sets.

Nadal faced seven break points, six points in the first set. He flipped them all over and pressed the other side. Del Potro served at 75%, but that didn’t help him, especially after opening four service games.

The Argentine lost 45% of the points in his matches and broke five times out of the nine chances offered to Rafa. The Spaniard played some great tennis after taking the first set, especially in the second, when he completely beat del Potro to come close to the finish.

Nadal scored 35 wins and 19 unforced errors, while Delpo scored 20 wins and 32 fouls. He failed to force his shots or take Nadal out of his comfort zone. The Argentine could only get a chance if he played tennis hard and used every opportunity to attack.

Nadal looked positive

Speaking to Angelo Mangiante on Sky Sports, Rafael Nadal sheds light on his relationship with Swiss maestro Roger Federer. “With Roger I have a good relationship and a special feeling,” Nadal said.

Nadal also expressed his happiness at winning the Roland Garros Championship, highlighting the difficulties he had to overcome to win the title in Paris. “It’s an incredible story, hard for me to explain, but that’s how it is and I’m especially happy.

The past three and a half months have been difficult, with a lot of work behind them but also with many limitations. To be able to go to Roland Garros with a win is very exciting,” Nadal said.