Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Rolland Garros Final: Nadal vs Thiem

Juan Martin del Potro will face Rafael Nadalin in the French Open semifinals Juan Martin del Potro will face Rafael Nadalin in the French Open semifinals
Lucia Summers | 13 June, 2018, 02:10

Nadal and Thiem will clash at Roland Garros in Sunday night's final in the battle between ruling monarch and heir apparent.

"For sure I can take some things from that", he said.

Schwartzman, who came back from two sets down to beat Kevin Anderson in the last 16, rediscovered his form, but it came too late to save the set as Nadal served it out in a marathon eighth game on his second set point after saving four break points.

Play has since resumed and Nadal now leads 4-2 in the third set.

Nadal‚ a 16-time Grand Slam champion‚ claimed his 85th win in Paris against just two losses after weathering a big-hitting opening from 2009 US Open victor Del Potro to win 6-4‚ 6-1‚ 6-2.

"It was a tough first set with opportunities for Juan Martin, I am fortunate that I won the first set and then I played more aggressively", Nadal, who equals Roger Federer's feat of reaching the final of a single Slam 11 times, said on court as fans chanted "Viva Espana". The Austrian won just one of the first nine points as Nadal immediately broke for 2-0.

Rafael Nadal improved to 11-0 in French Open semifinals as he seeks his 11th title at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament, saving all seven break points he faced and overwhelming 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.

"The second-set tiebreak was the big key to the match, 100 per cent, because obviously he felt all the matches from these two weeks after that", the seventh seed said. "Then I converted the important one".

Nadal is now 85-2 for his career at Roland Garros, with a record 10 championships.

Nadal, a 16-time Grand Slam champion, claimed his 85th win here against just two losses after weathering a big-hitting opening from 2009 US Open victor Del Potro to win 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.

Up in the stands, Nadal's uncle Toni, his former coach, was nervous, too, "because I thought maybe we can have a problem", he said.

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Thiem is the only player to beat Nadal on red clay over the past two seasons.

The No. 1-ranked Nadal compiled a 35-20 edge in winners while making only 19 unforced errors Friday.

Nadal said: "Thiem is an awesome player".

By contrast, Thiem was competing in his maiden major final and although he matched his illustrious opponent for large parts of the opening set, he crumbled at the crunch and never really regained his poise.

Looking ahead to the final and recalling Thiem's victory over Nadal in Madrid, a exhausted del Potro uttered: "Maybe on Sunday (Thiem) can repeat".

Marco Cecchinato of Italy was defeated by Dominic Thiem of Austria during day thirteen of the 2018 French Open.

Nadal will retain the world number one ranking if he wins - but that will be the last thing on his mind.

Nadal is looking as comfortable as ever on the Philippe Chatrier court where has previously won the title 10 times.

And the underdog soon faded as Thiem kicked on, racing to two swift breaks in the third and rescuing two break points to serve out the match in style.

"That", del Potro would say later, "was my chance".

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