The Associated Press
PARIS–Juan Martin del Potro is back in the French Open semi-finals for the first time since 2009 and next face Rafael Nadal–the man with the most appearances at this stage of the clay-court Grand Slam.
The fifth-seeded Del Potro, whose career has been hampered by injuries, beat third-seeded Marin Cilic 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 today.
Ten-time champion Nadal completed a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Diego Schwartzman.
Both matches had been stopped by rain yesterday.
With his good run at Roland Garros, Del Potro now is guaranteed to return to the top four in the rankings for the first time in more than four years.
Del Potro fought back tears during his post-match interview and was cheered loudly by fans at Court Suzanne Lenglen.
“It’s tough to speak now,” the 2009 U.S. Open champion said. “It has been a long time without good feelings.
“I had three surgeries on my left wrist. I was close to [quitting].”
Del Potro, who lost to Roger Federer in the 2009 French Open semi-finals, hit 31 winners against Cilic, including 19 aces.
He has won only five of his 14 previous matches against Nadal.
In womens’ play, Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys were to play for a spot in Saturday’s women’s final.
It’s the first semi-final between a pair of American women at Roland Garros since Serena Williams beat Jennifer Capriati on her way to the 2002 title.
Top-ranked Simona Halep, meanwhile, will have another shot at the French Open title.
Twice the runner-up in Paris, Halep qualified for the final by defeating 2016 champ Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 6-4.
It will be Halep’s second-straight Grand Slam final after she lost the title match at the Australian Open in January.