The enforced interlude had clearly benefited Nadal, and assuming he gets the two points he needs to level the match he will start a strong favourite on Thursday.
Rafael Nadal has lost his first set at the French Open since 2015.
The victor of the match will play either third seed Marin Cilic or Schwartzman's compatriot Juan Martin del Potro.
Nadal raised minor concerns when he had both wrists wrapped between sets, although Alex Corretja, once Andy Murray's coach, reckoned they were to soak up sweat rather than wrap an injury.
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But Nadal, as he has done so often, averted catastrophe after a 53-minute "interrompu" for rain, when he returned trailing 2-3 and a break to grind his way to a 5-3 lead.
Prior to the delay Nadal was not playing his best tennis, and was struggling to find his usual clay court rhythm.
Nadal, returning with his famed forehand finally firing on all cylinders, earned back-to-back breaks to move within a hold of the set.
The fired up Argentine left the Philippe Chatrier crowd stunned as he took the first set 6-4 with a solitary break enough.
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This is a guy who entered the day 5-0 against Schwartzman, having won 12 of their sets. And previous year, he earned the trophy without dropping a set.
Nadal, aiming for an 11th French Open title, trails the 11th seed 6-3 3-5.
Nadal hit a floater that was possibly headed wide, yet Schwartzman attempted a volley that missed.
Nadal was soon back on serve when it was Marterer's turn to double fault and after saving two break points in game five, the Spaniard carried his momentum into the next with a break to love and a 4-2 advantage courtesy of a fine inside-out forehand.
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Nadal pumped his fist and yelled: "Vamos!". He was unable to finish the job before the weather made him wait.