Rafael Nadal 2018 French Open

Rafael Nadal beats Diego Schwartzman in French Open but faces toughest opponent off the court

Rafael Nadal is facing some worthy opponents on his way to making history. On Thursday, June 7, the 32-year-old King of the Clay secured his spot in the semi-finals for the 11th time at the 2018 French Open, after defeating Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman. The two faced off for the first time on Wednesday, where Rafael fell short and lost the first set. The men’s match was then postponed due to rain. When the Spanish tennis great returned to the court under sunny skies on Thursday, he dominated the next three sets, pulling off a victory.

Rafael has won the most grand slam titles in the French Open tournament Photo: Getty Images

MORE: Rafael Nadal celebrates his US Open win with girlfriend and family in NYC

“I don’t have any obligation to win,” the tennis star said during a press conference. “Second, if you don’t feel the pressure it's because you don’t love the sport, and if you don’t love the sport, then you should go back home and find another thing. I don’t feel the pressure here at the semifinals. I feel it every day. Not here. I feel the pressure in every match of the year and here is an important event for me. I played more aggressive. I continued the level of intensity.”

The tennis champion goes head-to-head with Mario in the latest game trailer Photo: YouTube

Rafael’s latest victory made him only the third player in the Open era to reach 11 semifinals in the same grand slam. Rafael faced off against another opponent for the “match of the century.” The champion went head-to-head with Mario in the trailer for the game Mario Tennis Aces. The athlete, who sports his signature all-white uniform and headband, as he breaks a sweat during the intense match. When Rafael reigns supreme, the pair call it truce at the end of the commercial.


More about