As it happened: French Open updates from Day 12

Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens booked their spot in the women's singles final at Roland Garros. Earlier, Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro emerged triumphant after completing their respective quarterfinal fixtures from Wednesday evening.

Rafael Nadal (left) defeated Diego Schwartzman in four sets to move into the semifinals. Photo: AFP

Welcome to Sportstar's live blog of Day 12 of the French Open.

10:06 pm: That's it from us on what has been an eventful day at the French Open. A day of dreams sustained and quashed. Join us tomorrow for what promises to be another day full of action and art — Rafael Nadal & Co. will vye for a place in the final.

Men's singles semifinals on the menu tomorrow - Friday, June 8:

At Court Philippe-Chatrier:

1730/1630 IST: Marco Cecchinato (ITA) vs Dominic Thiem [7]

Not before 2000/1930 IST: Rafael Nadal [1] vs Juan Martin Del Potro [5]

10:01 pm: Both ladies winners today were aggressive and clinical; it was hard tennis, albeit without the drama that accompanies a cliff-hanger.

The men's singles quarterfinals were evenly contested as well. While Nadal was made to sweat for his four-set victory by Diego Schwartzman, del Potro nudged slightly ahead in another four-setter, against Cilic.

9:50 pm: A neat backhand down the line gives Stephens the match! The tussle between the two was hard but it seems Stephens was more accurate, aggressive, and in control to be slightly ahead of her compatriot.

She admits "it's always hard playing someone from your country," but she was too clinical today to camouflage the supposed difficulties.

Stephens, the US Open champion, through to another final, then. She faces World No. 1 Simona Halep.

 

9:27 pm: Stephens in full control as she leads the second set 3-1

9:09 pm: Sloane Stephens takes the first set 6-4

9:03 pm: Both players hold, and now Keys will serve to stay in the set.

8:53 pm: A few worrying moments for Stephens, as she hits the ball wide on an occasion and then has no answer to a sizzling return of service.

She holds on, though, as Keys makes a couple of unforced errors. Stephens has a 4-2 lead now, in the first set.

ICYMI: These women are vying for a spot in the final; Simona Halep is already through to the final, and awaits the winner of the ongoing contest.

Halep overcame Muguruza in a clinical demolition act - report

8:49 pm: Keys holds, just about, to make it 3-2 after Stephen holds her serve. But Stephens is still up a break.

8:41 pm: Stephens catches Keys off-guard, breaking her in her second service game. An aggressive stroke from Stephens catches the line and it gives her a 2-1 lead in the first set.

8:35 pm: It's an all-American affair in the second ladies semifinal contest today.

Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens are 1-1 at Philippe Chatrier court after holding on to their service games.

8:11 pm: After a time-consuming game, Halep makes it anti-climactic by wrapping up the game and with it, the contest, in a jiffy. Muguruza makes yet another unforced error, sending a ball long, to send Halep through to the final.

Halep, the No. 1 seed, wins 6-1, 6-4.

"It was really important for my mind to know I could win against a great opponent. It’s a pleasure to play here," says Halep.

 

8:10 pm: A crucial game for Muguruza, this. Against a rampaging opponent, who punishes her with her accurate strokes and profits out of unforced errors, Muguruza seems to be faltering.

She manages to shrug off a couple of game points, and makes Halep run around the court to gain a game point. Halep responds with a disabling forehand of her own to make it deuce again. The pendulum swings from one side to the other before Halep holds on.

It's 5-4 in the second set now; Muguruza will serve to stay in the match.

7:54 pm: Just when a change seemed imminent, Muguruza allows a couple of errors to creep in. Halep makes it worse for her by executing a curvy forehand stroke that just about catches the line.

And Muguruza is broken! Halep makes it 4-4. On serve now.

7:49 pm: At the end of two relatively quick games, the second-set score is 4-3 in favour of Muguruza.

Halep was characteristically ruthless in her service game, and barring an unforced error, was in control.

7:40 pm: Both players seem to have adopted an aggressive mindset, and a neck-and-neck battle is on the cards. After suffering a blip, Halep comes back to hold her serve. She still trails, though (2-3).

7:32 pm: It seems a different Muguruza on display in the second set. On one occasion during her serve, she responds smartly when pushed to a corner — after running to retrieve the ball, she lobs it over Halep's head to clinch the point.

It's only a moment in the contest but perhaps a signal of a slightly changed scenario now after a one-sided first set.

She takes the game after a compelling to and fro between the players, to lead 2-1.

7:28 pm: Muguruza ensures a dominant game again, playing her sizzling shots with accuracy to unsettle her opponent.

Halep is finally broken! Muguruza takes a 2-1 lead.

7:23 pm: Another long rally; this time, Muguruza catches Halep off-guard with a backhand shot to exploit the space opened up in Halep's part of the court. Halep's weak forehand is unsufficient.

A more confident Muguruza strolls through the rest of the game to level the scores (1-1) in the second set.

7:20 pm: Through grunts of the two ladies, a long rally of 19 shots is played out, with the more aggressive Halep coming out on top. Halep continues to be ruthless and business-like as she has been for much of the contest today.

Halep leads 1-0 in the second set. Can Muguruza fight back?

7:14 pm: One point away from claiming her second game, Muguruza fails to pounce on a loose ball that bounces over the net and into her part of the court.

Soon after, Halep takes the set 6-1.

7:08 pm: Halep, serving for the set, gets broken!

7:04 pm: Halep asserts her authority with a searing forehand down the line, and Muguruza continues to make unforced errors. Halep takes a 5-0 lead.

6:54 pm: A few mistakes from Muguruza, and an excellent passing shot from Halep helps the latter hold on again. This is looking like a one-sided affair.

6:54 pm: Halep faces a tougher resistance from her opponent, but after being made to move around and mishits from both players, Halep breaks again to take a 3-0 lead.

6:49 pm: Halep survives a break point on her own serve and takes a 2-0 lead.

6:42 pm: An early break of serve! A sprightly Halep rattles an unsettled Muguruza, and the latter is broken.

6:35 pm: No. 1 seed Halep and No. 3 seed Muguruza walk out on to the court. Muguruza to serve first. If she wins this contest, she becomes the No. 1 in the world, regardless of the result in the final.

6:30 pm: After a gruelling round of men's singles, we will move on to watch the ladies in action.

Simona Halep plays Garbine Muguruza, the 2016 Roland Garros champion, in the semifinals. Also, at Court Philippe Chatrier, Madison Keys takes on Sloane Stephens.

Stay tuned for updates.

6:18 pm: Del Potro lifts his arms aloft in triumph, having seized on a propitious moment to step it up and then holding on at 6-5 to take the fourth set and with it, the match.

"I don't have any words to describe this moment," - del Potro says.

He will face Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.

 

6:13 pm: Three break points for the resilient del Potro, and he converts the second to take a 6-5 lead!

Del Potro will serve for a place in the semis.

6:02 pm: Helped by an excellent serve, and an effortless drop shot, del Potro holds on to make it 4-4 in the fourth set.

5:56 pm: Del Potro duly holds, too, helped by an ace and errors by Cilic.

5:48 pm: Cilic takes a 3-2 lead with a clinical service game.

5:43 pm: There's nothing to choose between the two battlers yet; they're on serve (2-2) in the fourth set.

5:29 pm: Meanwhile, a determined Del Potro takes the third set 6-3. He has a two-sets-to-one lead over Cilic.

5:24 pm: At last, Nadal shakes off his opponent to move into the semifinals. The momentum swung from one side to the other in the last two games; it has to be acknowledged that despite the one-sidedness suggested by the final score, Schwartzman did give Nadal a run for his money.

The trademark roar continues to echo, though, as Nadal wins 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.

 

5:20 pm: A neck-and-neck battle ensues, with neither side yielding.

5:09 pm: And out of the blue, Schwartzman breaks! Making it difficult for Nadal, he digs deep to take the game. After warding off a match point for Nadal, and after four deuces, he manages to stay in the contest.

5:01 pm: With a delightful drop shot, Nadal takes a 5-1 lead in the fourth set.

Schwartzman unravelling quickly...

4:50 pm: Nadal breaks Schwartzman quickly, and then holds his serve to go 3-1 up in the fourth set.

4:48 pm: Cilic clinches the second set 7-5.

4:45 pm: Cilic serving for the set, positioned 6-5.

Del Potro breaks back to level the scores, and is broken again.

4:41 pm: Nadal emerges triumphant on the other side of a 19-shot rally, and promptly moves on to make it 1-1 in the fourth set. On one occasion in the game, he uses his powerful backhand in defence to nullify Schwartzman's seemingly advantageous position.

4:34 pm: Cilic breaks! Up 5-4, he now needs to hold his serve to clinch the second set and level the contest. Del Potro had won the first set 7-6.

4:26 pm: Schwartzman, thrice on the verge of breaking Nadal, falters eventually. Nadal wins the third set, and is two sets to one up. It was a hardworking game for both players, but Nadal continues his march ahead.

Cilic and del Potro, meanwhile, are 4-4 in the second set.

4:22 pm: Pushed to the corner, Nadal roars! He manages to retrieve a ball from wide, and create a successful passing shot, with a typical exultation for flourish.

4:21 pm: Schwatzman proving to be a tough nut to crack, thwarting Nadal's attempts to muscle past him to be two sets to one up.

4:09pm: Order seems to have been restored in the tennis world after Schwartzman's blitz last evening. Nadal races to a 5-1 lead in the third set.

On Court Suzanne-Lenglen, still no break of serve as del Potro leads 3-2 in the second against Cilic.

4:03pm: Can Schwartzman regain the momentum he had last evening? It's looking tough for the Argentinian as Nadal breaks him again with a drop shot.

4:00pm: Nadal leads 3-1 in the third set against Schwartzman.

3:51pm: Nadal's raced to 2-0 in the third.

3:48pm: It was never going to be easy for Schwartzman, resuming play after an overnight rain delay. He hands Nadal two break points and then the break in the opening game of the third set.

Meanwhile, Delpo and Cilic are a game all in their second set. No breaks of serve for the match yet.

3:44pm: Rafael Nadal begins play with a hold of serve to win the second set against Diego Schwartzman on Court Philippe-Chatrier. It's one set all.

On Court Suzanne-Lenglen, Juan Martin del Potro wins the first-set tie-break 7-5 against Marin Cilic.

Stay tuned for live action.

The two men's singles quarterfinals will resume on Day 12 after rain brought a premature end to play on Day 11 and forced Rafael Nadal's clash with Diego Schwartzman and Marin Cilic's with Juan Martin del Potro to be suspended.

The two women's semifinals, one between Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza and the other between Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens, will also be played on Day 12, after the men's quarterfinals.

Read: Paris rain halts Nadal's momentum with Schwartzman a set up