sport news – Del Potro powers past Cilic to set up Rafa clash

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PARIS (Reuters) – Argentina’s Juan Martin Del Potro felled Marin Cilic in a French Open conflict of the titans, profitable 7-6(5) 5-7 6-Three 7-5 on Thursday, and can now goal his heavy artillery at 10-times champion Rafael Nadal within the semi-finals.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 7, 2018 Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro celebrates after profitable his quarter last match in opposition to Croatia’s Marin Cilic REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Del Potro has seemed one of many greatest threats to Nadal’s domination this yr, together with his pulverizing forehand dismantling everybody in his path on the Parisian clay.

After dropping the opening set of his first spherical match he gained the following 12. However Cilic, who like Del Potro stands 1.98m tall, owns a U.S. Open title, has a beast of a serve and at all times seemed like being his first critical check. And so it proved.

After returning to a sunny Courtroom Suzanne Lenglen locked at 5-5 within the first set tiebreak after battle was halted due to rain on Wednesday, Del Potro flirted with hazard earlier than racking up an eighth win in succession in opposition to Cilic.

He appeared nearly overcome with emotion after reaching his first French Open semi-final since 2009, when he was overwhelmed by eventual champion Roger Federer.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 7, 2018 Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro shakes palms with Croatia’s Marin Cilic after profitable their quarter last match REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

“Effectively, it’s robust to talk,” the 29-year-old, who has risen again to sixth within the rankings after battling again from three left wrist surgical procedures, mentioned on court docket as followers sang “Delpo, Delpo”.

Requested about going through Nadal, who he has overwhelmed 5 out of 14 instances however by no means on clay, he was drowned out by his followers.

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‘BIG LOVE’

“It’s a problem that each participant desires to have,” he mentioned. “I don’t know if I’ll win, however I’ll take large love from you and that’s most essential for me.”

The primary set at all times seemed key and Del Potro clinched the opener as Cilic blinked first, netting a routine forehand on the second level of the second installment of the match.

The second set, like the primary, was dominated by serve till Cilic fired himself as much as break at 4-4 — a livid Del Potro throwing his racket on the changeover.

Croatian Cilic performed an terrible recreation when serving for the set, making 4 unforced errors, however he was gifted one other likelihood to serve for the set after breaking Del Potro once more and leveled the match on the second time of asking.

Del Potro dipped initially of the third and Cilic had factors for a double break. Nonetheless, the burly Argentine recovered his drive to hit again from 0-2 and take the third set.

Former Roland Garros junior champion Cilic, bidding to achieve the semi-finals for the primary time after falling within the quarter-finals 12 months in the past, stored his nostril in entrance within the fourth.

He buckled at 5-5, although, and despatched a backhand lengthy on break level, leaving Del Potro to serve for the match, which he did with ease as Cilic missed with three extra backhands.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Enhancing by Pritha Sarkar and David Goodman

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