Nadal beats Thiem in straight sets for 11th French Open title — NewsAlert

Heather Diaz
June 13, 2018

Paris: Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal on Friday outclassed Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro to storm into his record 11th final of the French Open with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win in the men's semi-final clash.

The top-seeded Nadal enters Sunday with a 10-0 record in title matches at Roland Garros and an overall career mark of 85-2 at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament.

Nadal tightened his grip, going to 5-1 on another double break in the third set and sealed the match when Del Potro hit a backhand long.World 72 Cecchinato had knocked out three seeded players to reach the semi-finals, including 12-time major victor Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.But Thiem, 24, was too strong and now believes he has a particularly powerful weapon on his side for the final - breakfast.

Thiem knows what it takes to defeat the 16-time grand slam champion, the Austrian being the only player to beat him on his favourite surface this year and also defeating him in Rome last year.

"If you tell me seven, eight years ago that I will be here. having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is something nearly impossible", Nadal said. That was followed by a quarterfinal victory over Schwartzman from a set down and an ultimately comfortable 6-4 6-1 6-2 win against del Potro. "He was a little unfortunate", said Nadal who reeled off 14 of the last 17 games, having seen Del Potro fail to convert any of his seven break points.

Nadal's French Open campaign did not begin quite as smoothly as he has grown accustomed to, with the world #1 forced to save three set points to progress in straight sets 6-4 6-3 7-6 against Bolelli.

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. "I never dreamed in 2005 when I played my first final here that I would be in another one".

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"But I have a plan". All have been on clay, and Nadal leads 6-3, including 2-0 in Paris, beating Thiem in the first round in 2014 and the semifinals a year ago. "I couldn't make it", del Potro said. If that gave him hope ahead of their fourth meeting of 2017 in the French Open semifinals, it was quickly dispelled in a 3-6 4-6 0-6 loss.

Thiem has shown in the past that there is a way to beat Nadal on a clay court by simply hitting every ball as hard as he can.

"I was not able to move the hand, the finger", Nadal said.

Siniakova was the doubles runner-up at last year's U.S. Open with a different partner.

On Friday, he was on par with seventh seed Dominic Thiem for two sets and even had set points to level the contest at one-set all.

Nadal, in an on-court interview, also said he's sure that runner-up Thiem will win the tournament in "the next couple of years".

At long last, Thiem converted his fifth set point when Cecchinato sent a forehand long. He then crushed a tired looking Zverev 6-4 6-2 6-1 before halting the fairy tale run of Cecchinato 7-6 7-6 6-1.

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