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.
This wasn't the first occasion that the Buenos Aires born star has caused the Spaniard problems, as he took a set off him in the Australian Open and left him physically drained ahead of the next round, which ultimately ended in defeat for Nadal.
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.
The Argentine recovered from two sets down to beat South Africa's sixth seed Kevin Anderson 1-6 2-6 7-5 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 and move into only the second Grand Slam quarter-final of his career - and his first at Roland Garros.
Another rain delay sent the players off court and shortly afterwards play was suspended for the day.
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At one point Nadal, the reigning champion and 10 times victor, found himself a set and a break down to the diminutive Argentinian Schwartzman.
Nadal had to receive treatment to his wrist at the end of the set with extra strapping applied.
On Court Suzanne-Lenglen, Juan Martín del Potro and Marin Cilic were locked at 5-5 in the tie-break after squeezing in 71 minutes of tennis. Sharapova had 27 unforced errors and had her serve broken six times.
For Nadal, that happened when he was down a break at 3-2 in the second set, and the delay of a little less than an hour seemed to help him begin to change course against Schwartzman, a 1.7 metre Argentine who was putting almost every shot right where he wanted to in the early stages.
Marterer may have felt he would need a degree of fortune to have any chance of an upset and the early signs were promising as a net cord set up two break points, Nadal double faulting on the first to hand his opponent a 2-0 lead.