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French Open glance: Nadal taking on Thiem in final

10 June, 2018, 13:30 | Author: Lora Ball
  • ImageThe two men’s quarterfinals scheduled for Wednesday were suspended because

"I'm very happy to return to the final at Roland Garros", he said. "That's why he's the No. 1 and beating all the guys", Del Potro said.

That win, according to three-times former champion Mats Wilander, should be all Thiem is thinking about when he prepares for Sunday's clash. He doesn't cede a thing and he doesn't let up.

Rafael Nadal rallied back to beat Argentina's Diego Schwartzman 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 6-2 and conclude their rain-hit French Open quarterfinal on Thursday for a place in the elite final four.

Paris - Dominic Thiem ended Marco Cecchinato's French Open fairytale on Friday, reaching his first Grand Slam final with a 7-5, 7-6 (12/10), 6-1 victory. "I have a plan". Additionally, emotion and momentum has to be on the side of Del Potro, who is thrilled to be at this stage, while Nadal faces all the pressure of expectations. I'm going to play Wimbledon, of course, and then I will have to analyse the situation afterwards, when I will be ready to play. "I just enjoy the fact that I am here again". If he wins the game, OK. The Austrian reached the semifinal stage at this competition a year ago but is confident of going one better this time.

He appeared to be in near peak form against del Potro - once the all important first set went in his favor. He missed the tournament every year from 2013-16 because of injuries, including three operations on his left wrist.

In the fourth game Friday, del Potro clutched at his left hip after being wrong-footed by one shot from Nadal and was visited by a doctor at the next changeover, but said afterward it was not a big deal.

"I think that was my chance of the match", del Potro said of the break points he held at 4-all in the opening set of Nadal's 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 blitz. "I think he likes the conditions more here than in Madrid, for sure, and best of five is also a different story".

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"In every game that I served, I had problems".

Thiem's ability to bully opponents from the baseline was on display in his 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 victory over No. 2 seed Alexander Zverev in the quarter-finals.

But Thiem has shown himself to be the biggest threat to Nadal's utter dominance on his favoured surface and he's the only player to beat him over the past two years.

"I played more aggressive", Nadal said, adding: "In my opinion, the match changed, no?"

Thiem has been to the semifinals in Paris three years in a row, but he lost to eventual champions Novak Djokovic in 2016, then Nadal in 2017.

This included a quarter-final success in Madrid last month.

The seventh seed, the first Austrian man to reach a Grand Slam final since Thomas Muster triumphed at Roland Garros in 1995, will take on either Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro or 10-times champion Rafael Nadal.

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Cecchinato had never won a Grand Slam match before this year's Roland Garros but made the semis with a string of stunning wins.

However, Taiwan's Chan Hao-ching and her partner, Yang Zhaoxuan of China, did not fare so well, falling just short of the women's doubles final on Friday after losing to Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya of Japan 6-2, 6-2.

"He's been a very complex opponent". But Nadal saved all six and broke in game 10 to take a one-set lead.

Thiem had to weather three set points for Cecchinato, at 7-6, 9-8 and 10-9. Thiem has won 10 straight matches on clay court.

"It's his court, he has the keys and he has to take advantage of that", said Moya, referring to Nadal's track record at Philippe Chatrier stadium.

"After that, my level dropped".

The final many called when the draws were made has come to fruition as 10-time French Open victor, Rafael Nadal, goes up against first-time finalist, Dominic Thiem, in Sunday's final.

Djokovic casts Wimbledon doubts after shock French Open loss
The 25-year-old Cecchinato dropped onto his back on the clay, then sat in his sideline chair, bowed his head and cried. As his backhand return on his fourth match point landed beyond the outstretched arm of Djokovic, the tears flowed.

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