Rafael Nadal
10-time champion Nadal is a favourite to reach the final of Roland Garros 2018.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
  • Nadal has a 9-5 head-to-head record against del Potro.
  • The Argentine has never beaten Nadal on clay.
  • Nadal defeated del Potro in four sets the last they met — US Open 2017 semi-final.

Top seed Rafael Nadal takes on fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro in the men's singles semi-final of French Open 2018 in Paris on Friday, June 8.

When is the semi-final tie and how to watch it live on TV, online

The second semi-final match of Roland Garros 2018 will not start before 3:30 pm local time, 7 pm IST and 2:30 pm BST.

Nadal vs del Potro: French Open semi-final preview

Beating Nadal on the red dirt is one of the toughest jobs in tennis and a resurgent del Potro will be taking the challenge when the two stars meet in the much-anticipated tie Philippe-Chatrier on Friday.

Nadal has an 84-2 win-loss record at Roland Garros. Only two players have managed to beat him so far at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament — Robin Soldering in the fourth round of the 2009 edition and Novak Djokovic in the quarter-final of 2015 edition.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion has been in imperious form in the ongoing clay-court swing of the season, winning 24 and losing just one match. He has already won titles in Rome, Barcelona, and Madrid while the only loss came in the quarter-final of Madrid Open against fellow French Open semi-finalist, Dominic Thiem.

Nadal has dropped only one set in the ongoing tournament but he was tested by del Potro's compatriot and 11th seed Diego Schwartzman in a rain-interrupted quarter-final tie. The Spanish ace dropped the first set and was down 3-2 in the second before a rain break swung the momentum in his favour.

The quarter-final tie was suspended on Wednesday with Nadal leading the second set 5-3. Upon resumption on Thursday, the defending champion stepped on the gas and crushed Schwartzman 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

On the other hand, del Potro also was involved in a rain-marred quarter-final against third seed Marin Cilic over the last two days. The Argentine dropped the second set against the Croat but came back strong to take the match 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.

Del Potro has had one of the best starts to a season in the ongoing year (28-6), winning back-to-back titles in Acapulco and Indian Wells during which he had stitched a 15-match unbeaten run.

Juan Martin del Potro
Can Juan Martin del Potro cause the biggest upset of the season?Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Despite concerns over his fitness following a groin injury in Rome last month, del Potro has made the semi-final in Paris, his second after 2009 edition. The Argentine, who will be returning to the top-four of ATP rankings after a four-year gap, has dropped only two sets in the ongoing tournament.

Del Potro certainly has the firepower to trouble Nadal. Equipped with booming serves and one of the strongest forehands in tennis, the 29-year-old will be hoping to keep the rallies short and pull off one of the biggest upsets at Roland Garros.

Watch video: Del Potro talks to the press after quarter-final win in Paris

French Open 2018 - Global TV listings and live stream

UK: ITV4, Eurosport; Live stream: Eurosport Player

US: ESPN2, NBC; Live stream: Tennis Channel

Australia: Fox Sports 3; Live stream: Foxtel Go

Canada: TSN

France: France TV Sport 234

Pan-European: Eurosport International

Japan: WOWOW, TV Tokyo

China: CCTV 5

Middle East: beIN SportsAfrica: SuperSport