Diego Schwartzman stops game on set point to get ailing spectator help

Rafael Nadal in action against Diego Schwartzman

Rafael Nadal in action against Diego Schwartzman

Rafael Nadal can still win this French Open, but he will have to carry the late momentum of his rain-interrupted fightback against the redoubtable Diego Schwartzman into the resumption on Thursday if he is not to be the author of his own exit from a tournament he virtually owns.

After a brief return to the court, Nadal's situation looked far less perilous as he won three games on the spin and moved just two points away from levelling the match at 30-15, 4-6 5-3.

Nadal, meanwhile, gave substance to the speculation when Schwartzman, the robust Argentinian world No 11, rocked him out of his comfort zone to break his run of 37 unbeaten sets.

Rafa Nadal continued his birthday celebrations by moving into the French Open quarter-finals on Monday, beating a determined Maximilian Marterer 6-3 6-2 7-6 (4).

Schwartzman was then a break up in the second set when rain fell for the first time.

The players briefly returned to the court, giving the 32-year-old Spaniard enough time to reel off three straight games, but the rains came again for a second and final time when he was serving for the set.

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Nadal also called for a medical time-out at the end of the first set to receive some treatment on both of his wrists.

Speaking on Eurosport's coverage of the Roland Garros, analyst Annabel Croft said Nadal had to overcome major stress to recover from being a set and break down.

The victor of the match will play either third seed Marin Cilic or Schwartzman's compatriot Juan Martin del Potro.

Schwartzman had a point to lead 4-2 but a forehand error allowed Nadal off the hook.

An earlier rain interruption appeared to do Nadal some good.

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