While it is certain that Rafael Nadal does not need assistance of any kind in the pursuit of the 2017 French Open title, he is not above accepting it when it is offered.
Nadal has advanced to the semifinals after needing less than an hour to dispose of Pablo Carreno Busta.
Busta retired after losing the first set 2 – 6 and trailing in the second 0 – 2. He sought treatment from a trainer at the end of the first set and left the court. When he returned to the match, he was wearing a bandage just above his left hip. When the match resumed, he was only able to play two more games before calling time.
Nadal has not been challenged in any way as he has progressed through the tournament. He has lost only 22 games total and has not dropped one set.
This is the 25th time Nadal has reached the semifinal stage of grand slam level tournament and the 10th time he has made it this far at the French Open. He joins a select group of five men to achieve that feat. Roger Federer, Jimmy Connors Andre Agassi and Novak Djokovic are the others on the list that is conspicuous for the absence of other greats, such as Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall.
Nadal is after his 15th major, which would put him close to Roger Federer’s total, but he has a four-year advantage over Federer in age.
On his best day, it would be expected that Busta could have taken a few more games, but would have bowed out in straight sets.
So dominant on clay is Nadal, that out of 102 best of five set matches on the surface, he has won 100 of those.
The only potential hurdle remaining for Nadal is the possibility of an encounter with Djokovic, should Djokovic get past Dominic Thiem.
The other side of the draw contains Stan Wawrinka, Marin Cilic, Kei Nishikori and Andy Murray, none of whom can claim to thrive on clay courts.