Del Potro has lost once in the French Open semifinal, which was in 2009.
Both men advanced by winning quarterfinals suspended the night before because of rain.
He was hitting deeper into the corners than on Wednesday and Schwartzman was left to rue the match's first rain break that stopped the competition when he was leading 3-2 in the second set with a break. "Maybe the day when you can beat Rafa was yesterday". He went on to win the U.S. Open the same year by defeating Federer in the final.
Whoever reaches the final from that side of the draw will face either Dominic Thiem or Marco Cecchinato in Sunday's final.
His upward trajectory - rising from lower than 1,000 in the world a year ago to a guaranteed career high of fourth when the next round of rankings come out - looked unlikely after he missed nine Grand Slams in a row after nearly disappearing from the tour in 2014. "But now it's time to talk about my present in a good way". I was close to quit this sport. "I don't have words to explain what this means to me and my team". Hopefully today will be an exception, and the enduringly popular Juan Martin del Potro will at least give the 10-time champion Rafael Nadal a fright.
Nadal didn't yet know who his next opponent would be as he spoke, but his task remains essentially the same as he braces for another vigorous attempt to punch through the personal ozone layer that envelops him at the French Open.
Broaden the scope to all best-of-five-set matches on red clay, and his record is 109-2.
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"I would sign with blood to win against Thiem and reach the final even if I were to lose against Nadal".
Argentina´s Juan Martin del Potro (L) celebrates after victory over Croatia´s Marin Cilic at the end of their men´s singles quarter-final match at The Roland Garros 2018 French Open on June 7, 2018.
Returning to Court Philippe Chatrier Thursday, Nadal quickly polished off the second set, and with it, effectively, Schwartzman's challenge.
An inspired Schwartzman ended the world No. 1's run of 37 consecutive sets won at Roland Garros and was a break up in the second set when rain halted play for the first time on Wednesday.
And Nadal knows he will be in for a hard afternoon where defensive play is not an option. I felt that I was playing a little bit under more stress than usual, and he was able to take control of the point too many times.
Nadal giving up a 6.5 game head start is [1.74] on the Exchange, and I'd expect this to rise by several ticks as the market forms in the run-up to the match, and I'm quite happy to look at this as a more viable proposition.