Nadal beats del Potro to reach 11th French final

Rafael Nadal

Both men knew that full well.

Rafa is in search of his 11th career French Open title and 17th Grand Slam singles title overall, while Thiem will play in his first Grand Slam final.

The 11th-seeded Schwartzman appeared to have done his homework well as he dominated the early exchanges to bag the opening set: an achievement in itself as it was the first one Nadal had lost at Roland Garros since 2015.

"For me, the motivation to play here always is high, high as possible".

"But I have a plan".

Del Potro, 29, is a popular figure among tennis fans, with affection for him growing further as a result of the catalogue of injuries he has suffered in recent years. If he wins the game, OK.

Ominously, perhaps, for Thiem, Nadal said: "I have to improve a little bit". But I'm also aware that here it's tougher. Against Cecchinato, he had six aces and 37 winners to just 26 errors.

Nadal won the French Open on his debut as a 19-year-old and came into this year's event with a 79-2 win-loss record at Roland Garros.

"It was someone who made a loud [sound] before my serve, and I made [a] double fault", Del Potro said.

Soon enough, he was yelling at himself, a picture of exasperation thanks to Nadal's relentless ball-tracking and shotmaking.

"If I'm facing Rafa, I'm not the one who has the pressure", he said. I have to play my best. And when things change and you have good moments, it's time to enjoy them and to recognise that you're having good times. "Best of five is also different story". Cecchinato will battle hard without a doubt, but look for Thiem to hold his nerve and continue his run on clay. It may sound easy and logical, but I don't want it to be.

Nadal and Thiem will face off on Sunday at a 9 a.m. ET to close the French Open.

Interestingly, Del Potro has never won a match on clay when priced in excess of [3.0], with his last outing ending in straight sets (and a final set bagel) at the hands of Andy Murray at this venue in 2017, so he will have to reverse this history, not to mention a 3-0 clay head-to-head deficit as well, to make Sunday's final.

The former US Open champion, who nearly retired from the sport two years ago after persistent wrist injuries, had said he would make a "last-minute decision" on his Roland Garros participation after suffering a leg injury at the Rome Masters.

In the clay court season, Nadal has already picked up his 11th title at the Monte-Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open and an eighth trophy at the Italian Open. Cecchinato was accused of match-fixing and suspended for 18 months in 2016, but he appealed, and his punishment was dropped on a technicality.

Facing set point as he trailed 9-10, Thiem audaciously sliced a backhand drop-shot victor.

The unheralded Cecchinato simply being here is freakish for a number of reasons, not least his 10-8 final set success over Marius Copil in the first round, a match which lasted nearly four hours.

Del Potro found the breakthrough at 5-5 in a tight fourth set, when Cilic sent a backhand long to give him a break and he went on to serve out the match.

Related News:



Most liked

Warriors crush Cavs to win third National Basketball Association title in past four years
The selfless superstar with the deadly 3-point shot smiled, and Stephen Curry's teammates smiled with him. The 76ers and Celtics are the young, up-and-coming teams that are not far off from winning big.

Hitman 2 officially announced for later this year, drops episodic format
To get all the latest on Hitman 2, be sure to follow Hitman on Facebook and Twitter and WB Games on Facebook and Twitter. This is going to be a full game rather than the previous episodic experience, though there'll be post-launch expansions.

I'm not done yet! - Durant display not his 'defining moment'
This is the third time Durant and James have faced off in the Finals, each earning 4-1 series wins over the other. They come off a pick-and-roll and he just stopped behind and pulled four or five feet behind the 3-point line.

Macron and Trudeau vow to confront Trump on tariffs
There is no doubt, though, that Trudeau is upset that the US would invoke security concerns as justification for the tariffs. In response, Trump quipped to Trudeau, " Didn't you guys burn down the White House? " referring to the War of 1812 .

Nabil Fekir Booked In For Liverpool Medical On Friday
Having already signed Fabinho from Monaco , Jurgen Klopp is clearly looking to bolster his midfield options. Jean-Michel Aulas, the Lyon president, offered little encouragement when speaking on Thursday.

Tributes pour in for Kate Spade
After news of her suicide emerged, it was claimed by sources close to the couple that Andy had recently asked Kate for a divorce. Saffo told the paper she frequently visited her sister in NY and Napa, where Spade had a vacation home.

President Trump Congratulates John Cox, GOP Primary Winners in Calif.
Additionally, the Republican who stepped down from the seat earlier this year won reelection in 2016 by over 20 percentage points. President Trump is giving a round of applause to GOP nominees who were able to advance out of California's jungle primary.

Kenya: Manchester United confirm Fred deal complete | The Standard - Kenya
But Rivaldo , who helped Brazil to win the World Cup in 2002, believes Fred will have no such problems. United now miss that desire in their midfield, if not in the team hotel the night before games.

Apple announces watchOS 5, allowing you to compete with friends
The student ID feature is part of several other new features to be added in iOS 12 and WatchOS 5, Business Insider reported . And the Siri watch face will display notifications from third-party apps, not just the watch's built-in apps.

Asus ROG Phone to launch in India soon
The key caps are also covered by three layers of paint, one more than typical keyboards, which helps them hold up to everyday use. If you've been clamouring for a smartphone that's tailored to the needs of serious mobile gaming, Asus has come up trumps.

Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi named in final Nigeria World Cup squad
Ian Wright admitted England's performance against Nigeria was "worrying" despite the fact the Three Lions came away with a win. Not since 1966 have England won the World Cup following the country's group-stage exit in 2014.

Italy's anti-establishment leaders revive governing coalition
The two leaders canceled other engagements Thursday to meet at the parliament in Rome and hammer out a Cabinet. He returned from Rome to address a crowd of supporters in his northern home region of Lombardy.

Mexico to hit USA with tariffs on grapes, apples, blueberries
And that is because other countries are afraid of American sanctions; they don't know who America is going to move against next. Trump also told French President Emmanuel Macron of the need to "rebalance trade with Europe", the White House said.

Alberto expected to weaken as storm moves through Alabama, Tennessee
Alberto got an early jump on the 2018 hurricane season, which doesn't officially start until June 1. Eventually the upper low will act to pull Alberto back to the North-northwest later Sunday .

Arkansas Selected To Host Second Straight NCAA Regional
The entire 64-team bracket and national seeds will be unveiled during Monday's selection show, which airs live on ESPNU at 9 a.m. It will host a four-team regional this week at Conrad Park in DeLand, Florida, where it is 29-3 this season.