Rafael Nadal is now just one win away from an unprecedented 13th French Open title. He booked a spot in the final after defeating Argentine Diego Schwartzman on Friday, in the first men's semi-final at Court Philippe Chatrier, 3-6, 3-6, 6-7 (0-7).

After holding one service game each, Nadal immediately broke twice in the first set to take a 1-4 lead. Schwartzman was unable to keep pace and Nadal closed the opening set comfortably at 3-6.

The second set started out pretty much in the same way, with Nadal breaking early and outplaying Schwartzman on every angle. There were moments of brilliance from the Argentine, but this time, it was not enough to overcome the King of Clay. The second set finished with an identical scoreline, 3-6.

In the third set, the Argentine was looking visibly dejected. However, he was able to put up more of a fight. Despite being broken early once again, Schwartzman was able to break back and take it to a tie-break. However, it was too little too late and despite challenging Nadal in the later part of the set, Schwartzman eventually gave in to the inevitable.

The match in Rome seemed like a lifetime ago, with Nadal completely outclassing Schwartzman at Roland Garros. It may be remembered that it was the Argentine who eliminated the Spaniard in the Italian Open. As such, it was expected that he would put up more of a fight this time, but that was not the case.

Nadal will be awaiting the winner of the second semi-final between Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas, which will also be played tonight. Schwartzman was unable to manufacture an upset against Nadal. Tsitsipas will be coming into his maiden Roland Garros semi-final with the goal of ousting the top seed. It will be a tough mountain to climb, but nothing is impossible.

It remains to be seen if Nadal will be facing Djokovic in a blockbuster final, or if the Greek pretender will shake things up in Paris.

Diego Schwartzman
Argentina's Diego Schwartzman beat Nadal for the first time in 10 attempts in Rome last month AFP / Anne-Christine POUJOULAT