Paris - Rafael Nadal sets his sights on a 27th Grand Slam
semi-final when he faces Diego Schwartzman of Argentina in the French Open
quarter-finals on Wednesday while Marin Cilic tackles Juan Martin del Potro in
a battle of former US Open champions.
In the women's last-eight, Maria Sharapova faces fellow
former Paris champion Garbine Muguruza.
Top seed Simona Halep, twice a runner-up, takes on two-time
major winner Angelique Kerber.
Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) v Diego Schwartzman (ARG x11)
Head-to-head: Nadal leads 5-0
- Nadal heads into his semi-final clash still on course for
an incredible 11th French Open title, having not even dropped a set at Roland
Garros since losing to Novak Djokovic in the 2015 quarter-finals.
The world number one has won all five of his meetings with
11th seed Schwartzman. The Argentinian said that the story of David and Goliath
inspired him in a remarkable comeback from two sets down against Kevin
Anderson, who is 13 inches taller than him, in the last 16.
But he will need an even more Herculean effort to get past
Nadal, although he did take a set off the great Spaniard when they met in the
Australian Open fourth round earlier this year.
Marin Cilic (CRO x3) v Juan Martin del Potro (ARG x5)
Head-to-head: Del Potro leads 10-2
- This has been a surprisingly one-sided rivalry between the
two former US Open champions, with Del Potro having won his last seven matches
against Cilic, only dropping sets during that time in a thrilling 2016 Davis
Cup final clash.
But the Croatian is still one of the best players in the
world, having lost both the Wimbledon and Australian Open finals to Roger
Federer over the last 12 months.
Cilic expects some lengthy sets between the two big servers:
"You never know what's going to come. Obviously, you can expect one or two
tie-breaks are going to happen."
Maria Sharapova (RUS x28) v Garbine Muguruza (ESP x3)
Head-to-head: Sharapova leads 3-0
- Sharapova, the champion in 2012 and 2014, made her first
quarter-finals at the majors since her return from a doping ban when she was
handed a walkover out of the fourth round by an injured Serena Williams.
The five-time Grand Slam champion, in her first Roland
Garros since 2015, was 3-0 down in the final set of her first round clash
against Dutch qualifier Richel Hogenkamp but has been impressive since,
knocking out sixth seed Karolina Pliskova in the third round.
Muguruza, the 2016 winner in Paris and reigning Wimbledon
champion, has been unruffled and made the last-eight when Lesia Tsurenko
retired after just two games of their last-16 clash.
Sharapova beat the Spaniard in three sets at the tournament
Simona Halep (ROM x1) v Angelique Kerber (GER x12)
Head-to-head: Series level at 5-5
- World number one Halep, the runner-up in 2014 and 2017,
survived a first round scare to defeat America's Alison Riske but has been in
cruise control ever since, happily going under the radar to make the
In the last-16, she dropped just three games to see off
Australian Open semi-finalist Elise Mertens in under an hour.
Kerber, a former US and Australian Ooen champion and
ex-number one is in her second quarter-final in Paris, six years after her
The German left-hander had lost in the first round in the
last two years.
Halep won their most recent encounter, 6-3, 4-6, 9-7 in the
Australian Open semi-finals in January.