Nadal passes Sinner test to storm into semis

Rafael Nadal celebrates the win against Jannik Sinner. Photo: Reuters
Rafael Nadal celebrates the win against Jannik Sinner. Photo: Reuters
Claycourt master Rafa Nadal passed his first real test of this year's French Open with a 7-6(4) 6-4 6-1 victory against Italian rising star Jannik Sinner as his quest for a record-breaking 13th title gathered momentum on Tuesday.

The Spaniard, also looking to match Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slam men's singles titles, was stretched like rarely before by the 19-year-old Sinner as he set up a clash with Argentine Diego Schwartzman, who beat him in the Italian Open quarter-finals last month.

The 34-year-old Nadal's 97 previous victories at Roland Garros made the difference in the key moments with the Spaniard rallying from a break down in the first two sets.

Sinner, the first French Open debutant to reach the last eight since Nadal in 2005, confirmed his immense potential but lacked just a bit of composure when it mattered.

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