Del Potro Can Trouble Nadal During Semi-Final Clash, Wilander Says

Heather Diaz
June 12, 2018

Del Potro said resuming a match at 5-5 in a tiebreak with his serve to come had been a odd situation but his aim was true and he moved 6-5 ahead before his cagey backhand slice induced a poor forehand error by Cilic.

Rafael Nadal powered his way into the French Open final and then claimed he can still move up another gear.

On Sunday, Nadal will go up against Austria's Dominic Thiem, the eighth-ranked player in the world and someone who has defeated Nadal before.

"I am very happy to be in another Roland Garros final, it is the most important tournament of my career". For me it's incredible.

He beat the Spaniard in the Madrid quarter-finals this year having won in the Rome last-eight in 2017. "Del Potro hasn't played Nadal enough on clay to feel the scar tissue, to feel the damage that Nadal has done on so many players so therefore I understand why Juan Martin would choose to not risk it and play safe", he explained.

"I can not believe it now", Karin Thiem, a tennis coach, told a group of reporters.

Rafael Nadal held serve in the opening game against Juan Martin del Potro in their French Open semifinal.

He did not look unduly affected though and his heavy groundstrokes took a toll on Nadal, who rescued three more break points in the ninth game, one with a sublime drop shot.

But it was in the second set that turned on the heat, momentarily.

This was the No. 5-seeded del Potro's first semifinal at Roland Garros since 2009.

Thiem will also be in his first Grand Slam final, so there's no way of knowing whether the occasion will bring out the best in him or add another hurdle to overcome, but he can at least make it a competitive affair.

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Thiem, seeded seventh, also swept through his semifinal match, beating unseeded Italian Marco Cecchinato, 7-5, 7-6 (10), 6-1. Nadal is 56-8 in final appearances on clay in her career and has won nine of his last 10 final appearances overall.

Cecchinato, the world number 72, played fearlessly and used his whole arsenal of claycourt weapons, but he came up short against the only player to beat Nadal on his favourite surface this season.

French Open men's final: Nadal vs Thiem What time does the final start? "But I will not give [it to] him, '" Nadal said.

"I think that was my chance of the match".

Where can I watch the live streaming of the matches?

For those who want to back Nadal for an outright win, but find the match odds too skinny, taking the [3.80] on a 3-1 win might be the best course.

Rattled by the Italian's revival, Thiem clicked into overdrive - and aided by Cecchinato unforced errors - clinched a crucial break for 6-5 by crunching a forehand victor.

The injury-prone Argentine had a discussion with Dr. Bernard Montalvan during the changeover, with Nadal leading 3-2 in the first set.

The struggle to answer in French on Friday - he remains much more comfortable in English as a second language - looked a lot more nerve-racking than some of his matches. You need to clinch that first set because he is coming out nervous.

"When (Thiem) is dominating the point, he is very unsafe". The following two tables analyze the win-loss records and the percentage of events won by a player as a factor of the events they took part in.

His huge serve helped him to save set points too and he finally gained the upper hand to take a two-set lead.

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