June 7, 2018 / 10:37 AM / 11 days ago

Highlights of French Open 12th day

PARIS (Reuters) - Highlights from day 12 of the French Open tennis championships on Thursday (times GMT):

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 6, 2018 General view during a rain delay REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

1545 STEPHENS CLAIMS OPENING SET

U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens made the most of an early break to claim the first set 6-4 against Madison Keys in an all-American semi-final clash.

1530 DODIG AND CHAN LIFT MIXED DOUBLES TITLE

Croatia’s Ivan Dodig and Taiwan’s Latisha Chan beat Australian Open winners Mate Pavic and Gabriela Dabrowski 6-1 6-7(5) 10-8 to win the French Open mixed doubles title.

1445 IMPRESSIVE HALEP REACHES ANOTHER FRENCH OPEN FINAL

World number one Simona Halep, chasing her first Grand Slam title, progressed to her third final in Paris with a 6-1 6-4 victory over third-seeded Garbine Muguruza.

“I’m really, really happy that I won this match,” said Halep, who lost to Jelena Ostapenko in the final last year.

“It was really important for my mind to know I could win against a great opponent.

“It’s a pleasure to play here. I’m happy to play the final again at my favourite grand slam. I’ll try my best and hopefully do better than last year.”

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - June 7, 2018 Romania's Simona Halep celebrates winning her semi final match against Spain's Garbine Muguruza REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

1345 HALEP TAKES CONTROL

World number one Simona Halep broke Spaniard Garbine Muguruza’s serve four times to win the opening set 6-1 in the first women’s semi-final on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

1300 DEL POTRO BEATS CILIC TO SET UP NADAL CLASH

Big-hitting Argentine Juan Martin del Potro has reached his first French Open semi-finals in nine years, beating Croatia’s Marin Cilic 7-6(5) 5-7 6-3 7-5 in a rain-delayed contest.

Fifth seed Del Potro will next face 10-time champion Rafa Nadal for a place in the final.

“It’s tough to speak now,” an emotional Del Potro said courtside. “It has been a long time without a good feeling in my body,” he said in reference to a series of injuries he has suffered.

“I have had three surgeries on my left wrist and I was close to quitting. I don’t have any words.

“It’s so good for my team and my family. It was very important to have the support of my family and friends and the love of you guys, you make me so happy. I am so proud to be playing tennis. I feel at home here.”

1210 DEL POTRO SNATCHES LEAD AFTER THREE SETS

Fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro, who last reached the French Open semi-finals in 2009, struck 10 winners and converted two break point opportunities in the third set to lead 7-6(5) 5-7 6-3 against Croatian Marin Cilic.

Slideshow (10 Images)

1155 NADAL MARCHES INTO SEMIS

Top seed Rafa Nadal rediscovered his touch in Paris sunshine to put away Argentine Diego Schwartzman 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 in the quarter-finals.

The Spaniard, chasing his 11th French Open title, secured his sixth consecutive win over Schwartzman after dropping the opening set in damp conditions on Wednesday.

It will be Nadal’s 27th Grand Slam semi-final appearance as he claims sole ownership of fifth place on the list for most final-four appearances at majors in the Open Era, ahead of American Andre Agassi.

“Diego’s a good friend, a really good player,” Nadal said. “It wasn’t easy.

“I played at a better level after the rain, I’m happy to reach another semi-final. It’s a great emotion to play here. I’ve got to play again tomorrow. It’ll be difficult whoever I play.”

1120 CILIC FIGHTS BACK TO DRAW LEVEL

Marin Cilic, bidding to reach his sixth Grand Slam semi-final, grabbed a decisive break in the 11th game against Juan Martin del Potro to win the second set 7-5 and draw level after two sets.

1100 NADAL MOVES AHEAD

Defending champion Rafael Nadal broke Argentine Diego Schwartzman twice to win the third set and lead 4-6 6-3 6-2 on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

1015 DEL POTRO CLAIMS OPENING SET

Juan Martin del Potro, seeded fifth, has clinched the opening set 7-6(5) against Croatian Marin Cilic on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Compiled by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Mark Potter

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