“He’s a very, very young talent with great shots. For two sets it was very tough. At the end of the first set I was very lucky. It was very difficult for me to pull him out of position," said Nadal after he booked his 13th semi-final on the clay in Paris.
“In the third set I improved, I was much better being much more aggressive. That’s the only way. I’m very, very happy to be back in the semi-finals of Roland-Garros again. It’s no doubt the most important place for me, the most beautiful place to play.
“Now I have two, I will say one and a half days off to rest, practise a little bit and recover to be ready for the semi-finals.”
His record now stands at 98 wins and just two defeats, 237 hours and eight minutes on the court, just 27 sets lost, 427 of 602 break points saved. The statistics are stupendous over Nadal's Roland-Garros century, but essentially to trouble the Spaniard over five sets is a real predicament.
Sinner stepped up to the lines and gave it his all with relentless striking, serving for the opener at 6-5 and holding a 3-1 advantage in the second set, however Nadals’ champion's instinct clicked in and erased both advantages.