Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

French Open 2018, men's final

Rafael Nadal Rafael Nadal
Shannon Reynolds | 12 June, 2018, 10:58

"He is a nightmare opponent for Nadal", Wilander said about Del Potro, as quoted on Tennis World USA.

Nadal wins his 11th French Open title.

"Second mistake, in the first set, he's holding very easily and what does he do on the break points?"

The Austrian tennis player had recently git the better of the King of Clay in Madrid Masters, although he had faced defeat at the hands of Nadal in French Open previous year.

Earlier Thiem needed to survive a nasty bout of the jitters to see off Marco Cecchinato and reach his first grand slam final. That streak began after Thiem beat him in Rome past year.

When del Potro avoided a bagel in the sixth game of the second, he raised his arms in celebration. That crucial early juncture altered the course of things, though.

The plan is for Nadal to practice for one hour on Saturday morning and then rest all afternoon, Moya told Spanish radio station Cope.

"Just thinking in a positive way and just thinking that I have to hold".

The Serb has a deal of work to do to get back to the stratospheric levels he reached before his right elbow gave up on him so spectacularly past year. If he wins the game, OK. "But I'm also aware that here it's tougher", said Thiem, the first Austrian in a major final since Thomas Muster won in Paris in 1995.

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

"Well, it's tough to speak", the 29-year-old, who has risen back to sixth in the rankings after battling back from three left wrist surgeries, said on court as fans sang "Delpo, Delpo".

By the sixth game of the opener, Cecchinato had claimed just one point off the Austrian's serve.

Nadal and Thiem have met nine times - all of them on clay. However, Nadal later revealed that he was "suffering" against the Gentle Giant in the first set of the match. After a harrowing first two sets, Thiem needed only 21 minutes to win the clinching set. However, Thiem did beat Nadal on the clay of Madrid last month.

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But throughout this French Open he has shown his consistency, overcoming Stefanos Tsitsipas, Matteo Berrettini, and Kei Nishikori in four sets and getting the better of an exhausted Alexander Zverev, the only player who can challenge the eventual finalists on clay, in the quarters.

In Saturday's women's final, number one Simona Halep of Romania will face number 10 Sloane Stephens of the United States.

He put out seeded players Pablo Carreno Busta and David Goffin before the seismic shock of knocking out 2016 champion Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

Here we look at the records broken by the 32-year-old at French Open.

One big difference in this meeting is that those two matches that went Thiem's way were best-of-three-set events.

"It was not a very nice feeling", Thiem said.

Cecchinato's catalogue of drop shots which helped account for Novak Djokovic kept Thiem on his toes throughout, but once the pivotal tie-break went the seventh seed's way Cecchinato's unlikely run was all but over.

Thiem weathered three set points for Cecchinato, at 7-6, 9-8 and 10-9. But once Thiem got to 10-10 - ironically with a superb drop volley of his own - the clay-court prince was back.

At long last, Thiem converted his fifth set point when Cecchinato sent a forehand long.

"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".

Austria's Dominic Thiem will meet Rafael Nadal in the French Open final Sunday.

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