Grand slam favourites Rafael Nadal (ATP world number 5) and Iga Swiatek (WTA world number 1, following Ashleigh Barty's surprise retirement) have now booked a spot in their respective penultimate game for records and titles. Nadal defeated World number 1, Novak Djokovic with a 2-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 (7-4) in the quarter-final on Tuesday night, and will be chasing his 22nd grand slam when he faces German third seed Alexander Zverev in the semi-final on Thursday for a place in Sunday’s final.
According to the Spaniard who has defeated Djokovic 8 times out of 10 at Roland Garros, “A very tough match. Novak is one of the best players in history and playing against him is always an amazing challenge. Today was another one. The only way to win against him is to play your best from the first point to the last. A magic night for me.”
A subdued Djokovic said, “He showed why he’s a great champion. You know, staying there mentally tough and finishing the match the way he did. Congrats to him and his team. No doubt he deserved it. I lost to a better player today.”
At the WTA, Polish sensation Iga Swiatek currently on a 33 games winning streak will be looking forward to claiming her second Roland Garros after defeating 11th seed Jessica Pegula in the quarter-finals.
Swiatek, won the game 6-3 6-2 to set up a semi-final clash with Daria Kasatkina, seeded 20th, which will be a repeat of the 2014 junior champion's first senior Grand Slam semi-final.
After a stunning start to 2022 which has seen the 21-year-old win five consecutive tournaments - in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome, she will be looking at equaling Venus Williams' 35-match streak as the longest by a WTA player this century if she wins the Roland Garros title on Saturday.