Nadal marches into Paris semi-finals

Rafael Nadal has moved into the last four of the French Open and will play Juan Martin del Potro

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro came through a clash of the titans against Marin Cilic to reach his first French Open semi-final for nine years on Thursday, winning a rain-delayed duel 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 6-3 7-5.

The 29-year-old powerhouse's eighth successive defeat of Cilic set up a clash with 10-times champion Rafael Nadal.

Play resumed on a sunny Court Suzanne Lenglen with the towering fifth and third seeds locked at 5-5 in the first set tiebreak after rain had curtailed their high-octane clash on Wednesday.

Del Potro needed only two points to pocket the first set as Cilic blinked first, netting a routine forehand a 5-6.

The second set like, the first was dominated by serve until Cilic fired himself up to break at 4-4 -- a furious Del Potro throwing his racket at the changeover.

Croatian Cilic played an awful game when serving for the set, making four unforced errors, but he was gifted another chance to serve for the set after breaking Del Potro again and at the second time of asking he levelled the match.

Del Potro dipped at the start of the third and Cilic had points for a double break but the burly Argentine, roared on by chants of "Delpo Delpo" recovered his drive to hit back from 0-2 and take the third set.

Former Roland Garros junior champion Cilic, bidding to reach the semi-finals for the first time after falling in the last eight 12 months ago, kept his nose in front in the fourth.

He buckled at 5-5 though and sent a backhand long on break point, leaving Del Potro to serve for the match, which he did with ease as Cilic sent three more backhands out.

Meanwhile Nadal lost his first set at the French Open since 2015 but that blip did not prevent the 10-times champion from marching into the semi-finals with a 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory over Diego Schwartzman in their rain-delayed match on Thursday.

The world No.1 had looked out of sorts in damp conditions on Wednesday as Schwartzman bombarded him with winners to cause him all sorts of problems, with the Argentine leading by a set and a break when the players were first called off court due to rain.

Upon resumption, the Spaniard gradually improved before rain brought an early end to the day with Nadal on the brink of winning the second set.

It was a very different story when the contest resumed on Thursday in drier conditions as Nadal won 12 of the first 13 points before cruising into the last four.