Nadal, Thiem meet in final at Roland Garros

Nadal, Thiem meet in final at Roland Garros

His ravenous will to win this title for an 11th time - a figure that feels weighty enough to merit Roman numerals instead - was on display Friday as he made a three-set meal of Argentina's Juan Martin 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.

The 16-year-old Tseng, who beat Australian Open champion Sebastian Korda of the U.S. in the semi-finals, came back from a break down in the first set to claim his first Grand Slam title.

The winners of the men's and women's singles finals this weekend will both take home a tournament record €2.2m (£1.9m/$3.1m) for triumphing on the clay at Roland Garros.

"If I want to beat him, I have to play that way like I did in Rome and in Madrid", said the number eight seed. I know I have to play my best tennis to have a chance on Sunday.

"I believe that there is chances, limited chances in your career", Nadal said.

Nadal will become only the second man in the Open era to play in more than 10 finals at the same Grand Slam when he takes on Dominic Thiem on Sunday - Roger Federer being the other with his Wimbledon exploits.

In what was expected to be a close encounter between Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro at the French Open Semifinal turned out to be exactly the opposite. "I just enjoy the fact that I am here again". The Argentine ended Nadal's run of 37 consecutive sets in a rain-delayed quarter-final before the Spaniard won the contest upon the resumption on Thursday under glorious blue skies. The Austrian has already won two titles (Lyon and Buenos Aires) this season and had also reached the final of Madrid Open last month. I'm not interested in these things, I just play tennis.

Both teams are through to the final at Roland Garros for the first time after securing uspet wins on Court Suzanne Lenglen. Stephens won last year's US Open; Halep is 0-3 in major finals.

Thiem is clearly a live underdog in this match based on the amount of experience he has against Nadal on clay and the fact he's won 33.3 percent of those matches on a surface nearly nobody beats him on.


"He is, for me, the best competitor I ever saw in any sport, and I watch sport a lot for many, many years", said Gunter Bresnik, Thiem's 57-year-old coach.

While disappointed to miss out on the final, an upbeat Del Potro reflected on a positive campaign in Paris after at one stage fearing he would miss the tournament due to injury.

Thiem has certainly been the second-best player on clay over the last two seasons. "I couldn't make it", del Potro said.

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.

Thiem weathered three set points for Cecchinato, at 7-6, 9-8 and 10-9.

Scalps in Rome and Madrid are impressive but the ultimate test awaits the 24-year-old on the final Sunday of a fascinating two weeks in the French capital.

By the absurd standards Nadal has set here, even facing those break points amount to a lapse, as does the opening set he dropped to the terrier-like Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals.

"That was definitely the key", Cecchinato said.

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