His upward trajectory - rising from lower than 1,000 in the world past year 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.
"Well, it's tough to speak", the 29-year-old, who has risen back to sixth in the rankings after battling back from three left wrist surgeries, said on court as fans sang "Delpo, Delpo". "So I think it's really important that you show everyone that you are on the court to win".
"It was a very hard match, Diego is a good friend and a good player", said the 16-time Grand Slam champion.
Someone in the stands cried out during his serve, disrupting his focus as he double faulted and handed Cilic a critical break for 5-4 in the second set.
The injury-plagued former US Open champion Del Potro wept courtside after beating third seed Cilic to reach the last four for the second time, but first in nine years. "I was close to (quitting)".
Del Potro has lost once in the French Open semifinal, which was in 2009.
"I played more aggressive".
Nadal was serving at 5-3, 30-15 after having dropped the first set when play was stopped on Wednesday. Nadal defeated Diego Schwartzman for the opportunity to face off against Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Marin Cilic on Thursday.
"So many times, the top players, they win half of the match nearly before the match started because their opponent don't really believe in it", said Soderling, who is coaching now after chronic illness forced him to retire three years ago.
Sloane Stephens' clash with Madison Keys represented a rematch of the 2017 US Open final, which Stephens won.
Two women who have won the title at Roland Garros, Maria Sharapova and Garbine Muguruza, play each other in the quarterfinals.
"We are always very competitive". It's a little different in that aspect. "Gave me time for reflection, to calm my nerves and to see how I needed to change things". But she fell apart and eventually lost to the unseeded Latvian in her second French Open final. And previous year, he earned the trophy without dropping a set. Dabrowski and Pavic lost the super-tiebreak 10-8.
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