Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Rafa Nadal books French final showdown with Dominic Thiem

Rafa Nadal books French final showdown with Dominic Thiem

Nadal has won 10 French Open titles, four more than the next best in the Open Era, and will hope to maintain his 100 per-cent record in finals in the French capital.

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his semi final match against Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro in Paris, France, June 8, 2018.

"To play a full consistent schedule is my aim - I was struggling with this before".

The Grand Slam has had several matches interrupted by rain throughout the past two weeks, including Nadal's quarter-final win over Diego Schwartzman - which had to be played over two days.

The pivotal part of the match was the second-set tiebreaker in which both men played superbly - and both had chances to end it. Thiem went ahead 6-3, but wasted three set points there, including a bad volley into the net at 6-4 that left him chewing ruefully on his left index finger.

We picked up a victor in Friday's semi-final with Rafa Nadal comprehensively thrashing Juan Martin Del Potro, to cover the -6.5 game handicap easily.

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But Nadal roared into the 2017 Australian Open final, losing to Federer, then captured his record 10th French Open crown in June previous year, setting the stage for another title run in the Flushing Meadows fortnight at the US Open in September. Nadal has a 6-3 record against the seventh-seeded Thiem but the Austrian player prevailed the last time they met, in Madrid last month.

The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Argentine wiped away tears during his on-court interview, telling fans who chanted his nickname, "delPo": "It has been a long time without good feelings on my body". But for me, every tournament, I believe that there is chances, limited chances in your career.

" If I lost that tie-break it would have been a very close match I think and I didn't want that".

Nadal is now just the second man to reach 11 finals at the same Slam, equaling Roger Federer's mark at Wimbledon.

"Today I was playing really well on the baseline and solid", the fourth-seeded Tseng said.

That's only €100,000 more - just a 4.5 per cent rise - than last year's champions Rafael Nadal and Jelena Ostapenko collected.

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"I have to find it inside me and find the right options for Sunday, the options that will be the right ones to succeed". He forced multiple break points in the first set, but was unable to convert even one of them.

Yesh: It has been nearly a decade since del Potro made the semifinals here. "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.

Dominic Thiem is coming off a straight sets win over Marco Cecchinato that took 32 games to decide.

Cecchinato, who had not won a Grand Slam match before arriving in Paris, deployed the same kick serve, topspin groundstrokes and wicked drop shots that he had used to upset three seeded players, including former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, in a row.

This included a quarter-final success in Madrid last month.

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

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"I am a human person", Nadal said following his 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 victory. After holding there, Nadal broke del Potro to take that set and was on his way, taking 14 of the last 17 games.

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