Nadal in action at Roland Garros. Photo: AP
Nadal in action at Roland Garros. Photo: AP

Nadal cruises through after opponent retires hurt

RAFAEL Nadal's relentless push for a 10th French Open crown continues at lightning speed after the Spaniard reached a record 10th Roland Garros semi-final as Pablo Carreno Busta succumbed to injury.

Posting his 100th best of five set claycourt win from 102 outings, Nadal spent only 51 minutes on court before his good friend Carreno Busta retired when trailing 2-6 0-2.

Chasing a 15th major overall, Nadal has conceded 22 games this tournament in reaching the semi-finals - the fewest in glorious French Open career and bettering the 25 he lost in 2006.

Putting Nadal's baseline quality into context was the fact the only two games Carreno Busta for the match came with unlikely Nadal service lapses.


Nadal's only defeats at Roland Garros since debuting here in 2005 came in the fourth round in 2009 against Swede Robin Soderling and in the 2015 quarter-finals against Novak Djokovic.

The Mallorcan was in superb form last year before a wrist injury forced him to abandon the tournament after the third round.

Into his 25th major semi-final, Nadal is the only the fifth man in history to reach 10 semis at a single grand slam event.

Roger Federer (13 Australians, 11 Wimbledons and 10 US), Jimmy Connors (14 US and 11 Wimbledons), Andre Agassi (10 US Opens) and Djokovic (10 US Opens) are the others.

Yet to drop a set this year, Nadal will next face either Djokovic or Dominic Thiem in what is touted as the "real final", even though Stan Wawrinka, Andy Murray, Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori remain in the top half of the draw.





Nadal rolled through the first set in 32 minutes, chiding himself for two service lapses while monstering Carreno Busta.

Obviously troubled by injury, Carreno Busta simply wasn't able to generate sufficient power off the ground to trouble Nadal.

The underdog called for a trainer at the end of the first set and left the court for treatment as Nadal tried to keep warm in brisk conditions on his courtside chair.

Carreno Busta eventually returned to the arena, sporting a bandage just above his left hip but he last just two more games after resuming.