“To be honest, I was over the limit today,” Thiem said. “Maybe I would have recovered. Even though I’m physically and mentally on the edge, you never know in a Slam, especially with Wednesday and Thursday off, two full days to recover. You never know what’s happening. But at the end, I gave everything I had out there. It was an amazing match, I think the first in my career over five hours. Diego fully deserves it.”
It was a remarkable day for Argentine tennis. Earlier Tuesday, Nadia Podoroska became the first qualifier to reach the women’s singles semifinals at the French Open in the Open era. Podoroska, ranked 131st and playing for the first time in the main draw at Roland Garros, upset the No. 3 seed, Elina Svitolina, 6-2, 6-4.
It was also Podoroska’s first singles match against a top 20 opponent, but however improbable on paper, the result looked quite logical as their match on clay unfolded. Podoroska dictated play with her heavy topspin forehand, changed pace effectively with drop shot winners and converted eight of 13 break points on Svitolina’s shaky serve.
“What I improved most, I think, was my mentality,” Podoroska said of her unexpected run at Roland Garros.
It was the latest bravura performance by a new arrival this year, and it guaranteed that there would be an unseeded woman in the singles finals. Podoroska will next face Iga Swiatek, a 19-year-old from Poland who overwhelmed the No. 1 seed, Simona Halep, in the fourth round and defeated Martina Trevisan, an Italian qualifier, 6-3, 6-1, on Tuesday. Trevisan, ranked 159th, got one more game than Halep against Swiatek, a powerful athlete who has yet to drop a set in the tournament and has long been considered a potential star.
Thiem’s and Schwartzman’s lengthy duel on Philippe Chatrier Court pushed the start of Swiatek’s and Trevisan’s quarterfinal into the evening, with Nadal and Sinner to follow and likely to play well past midnight.
“Is Rafa still playing right now?” Swiatek asked when her on-court interview concluded.
But the backlog was also prompted by the decision to start the day’s schedule on Chatrier with the postponed fourth-round women’s singles match between Danielle Collins of the United States and Ons Jabeur of Tunisia. Collins and Jabeur were unable to start their match on Monday because of rain, which suspended play on the outside courts (Chatrier is the only court at Roland Garros with a roof).