Nadal: Quarter-final rain delay gave me more clarity
Rafael Nadal credited a rain delay with giving him more clarity after he fought back from a set down to defeat Diego Schwartzman and reach the semi-finals of the French Open.
Nadal was trailing Schwartzman by a set and a break on Wednesday when inclement weather forced them off court, allowing the Spaniard to change the momentum and take control of the second on their return to action.
The rain came again to end play for the day with Nadal 5-3 up, and he levelled the match on Thursday as he surged to a 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 triumph.
He will face Juan Martin del Potro in the last four but conceded he was somewhat fortunate to have the chance to regroup when Schwartzman was in the ascendancy.
"I was a bit lucky yesterday because of the rain stop. I was able to stop, to think, to calm down and to see things with a bit more clarity," Nadal told a media conference.
"Although it was only half an hour, it was a great change, the feelings, going to the hotel, relaxing with this additional half-hour after the stop.
"Psychologically and for tennis, I had totally different feelings. I had more confidence. I was more happy with the change.
"Mentally things can be better or worse, but the determination I had yesterday, it created great impact in the result and in the game. This really changed totally how I was looking at the match and how my opponent was looking at the match.
"At the beginning yesterday there were no options to open the court, to win points. And today I moved forward, and I had a better backhand. I was able to open the court on his forehand. Yesterday I was not able to do so. I was not gaining ground.
"And when I was able to change that, I was able to win the game and the match.
"The changes were not the sun or the rain. It was within myself. Of course, the rain helped stop the match and helped me think about the match, and that's a reality. But in terms of play, what changed is how I played and how I managed the match."
Schwartzman believed his opportunity to pull off the shock of the tournament went with the Wednesday weather, saying: "It's always tough against Rafa. Totally focused, play 100 per cent tennis.
"Yesterday I was doing many winners, not many unforced errors. He was not playing his best tennis. Maybe the day when you can beat Rafa was yesterday.
"Today he started playing totally different. Aggressive, doing winners, no mistakes. So the match change a lot. So the rain was nothing good for me yesterday."