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Nadal thumps Del Potro to ease into French Open final against Thiem

10 June, 2018, 03:10 | Author: Candice Daniels
  • Rafael Nadal's French Open set streak ends in quarterfinals

In the second semi-final, Nadal took two hours 14 minutes to humble Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4 6-1 6-2 to make it into his 11th French Open final and take his stat at Roland Garros to 85 wins and just two defeats.

Del Potro had forced six break points during the first set but Nadal fended each one off.

Rafael Nadal could take revenge on Dominic Thiem in men's singles final of the 2018 French Open, while Chinese player Yang Zhaoxuan and her partner Chan Hao-Ching of Chinese Taipei failed to secure their spots in women's doubles final in Paris on Friday.

This time, Thiem faced Cecchinato, a 25-year-old from Sicily who never had won a Grand Slam match until this tournament and was the lowest-ranked men's semifinalist at the clay-court major in 19 years. For me it's incredible.

"If I want to beat him I have to play the way I did in Rome and in Madrid. Good tactics and mentality in the first set give me the possibility to play much better later in the match", said Nadal.

Spain's Nadal will meet Dominic Thiem in Sunday's final.

We're nearly to the end of the French Open for 2018.

Nadal has dropped only one set so far in reaching the final - one more than he conceded in winning the 2017 title.

Seventh seed Thiem is probably second only to Nadal on clay and must take confidence from two victories over the world No 1 on the surface in the last 13 months, including in Madrid just last month. Good thing is I played a lot of good matches this clay-court season. I'm not sure if Thiem and Rafa had a run in the Bois de Boulogne that Rafa would win.

By the absurd standards Nadal has set here, even facing those break points amount to a lapse, as does the opening set he dropped to the terrier-like Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals.

"Forget the 10 (French Open titles) and forget what happened previous year, Thiem has to remember what happened in Madrid which is a title Nadal wants to win nearly as much as the French", Wilander, Eurosport's chief analyst, told Reuters.

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That he trailed by a set and a break before rain delays allowed him to change tactics and recover to get there?

"Unfortunately, I was not able to convert my break points".

He does see new maturity in Thiem, more controlled aggression on critical points and more skill on the attack.

When del Potro avoided a bagel in the sixth game of the second, he raised his arms in celebration.

But Checchinato could not quite keep up with Thiem and his big baseline game.

Trying to beat Nadal at Roland Garros in a best-of-five match is akin to trying to beat '08 Phelps in the individual medley, or 2012 Usain Bolt in the 200-meter dash.you get the picture.

"The stop yesterday helps, because it was in a tough moment of my match", Nadal said.

"He's been a very complex opponent".

Thiem is not only trying to overcome Nadal's massive psychological and experiential edge in his first-ever Grand Slam event final, but attempting to join an elite club of men who have elbowed their way into the Big Four's monopoly on major titles over the last 10 years.

Cecchinato, who was banned for match-fixing in 2016, had never won a match in the French Open prior to this year's edition.

"It was not a very nice feeling", Thiem told the Court Philippe Chatrier crowd afterward.

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