Emotional Del Potro ends wait for Roland Garros semi-final
Juan Martin del Potro reached his first French Open semi-final in nine years with a 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 6-3 7-5 victory over Marin Cilic, setting up a meeting with Rafael Nadal.
Rain had halted play in the first set on Wednesday but it resumed the next morning in front of an initially sparse crowd on Court Suzanne Lenglen, with Del Potro quickly taking control.
There was a sticky spell for the world number six at the end of the second set and start of the third, but he recovered to dispatch Cilic in a little under four hours of action.
Having waited since 2009 for a last-four appearance at Roland Garros, Del Potro was in tears in his post-match interview on court as he was reminded of a tough stretch with wrist injuries in the interim.
He now faces clay king Nadal on Friday for a place in what would be just his second grand slam final.
Resuming at 5-5 in the tie-break, Del Potro needed only two points to wrap up the first set, with Cilic playing into the net.
That decisive moment prompted an aggressive celebration from Del Potro, but he quickly regained his calm to make a big-serving start to the second.
There was frustration on the fifth seed's part when he failed to break through in a lengthy fourth game, though, which proved costly when a double fault handed Cilic control of the set at 5-4 after Del Potro confronted a member of the crowd.
The set sparked into life from the point, with Del Potro breaking to love but then falling behind again in the very next game, as Cilic served out to draw level in the match.
It appeared the contest had turned when Cilic broke to start the third and nearly made another gain immediately afterwards.
But Del Potro rallied and put together a superb run, breaking back and then edging in front, ending the set with five straight games over a shell-shocked Cilic.
A tighter fourth followed until mistakes crept back into Cilic's game late on, allowing an emotional Del Potro to kick on in a now raucous arena and seal victory.