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Nadal set to clash with Thiem

13 June 2018
Nadal set to clash with Thiem

Nadal dealt with that ultimately minor inconvenience and claimed his record-extending 11th French Open championship Sunday by displaying his foe-rattling excellence in a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 7 seed Dominic Thiem.

The fifth seed‚ playing in his first Roland Garros semi-final in nine years‚ had three break points in the third game and three more in the ninth.

Nadal is closing in on his record-extending 11th title at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament and what would be his 17th major trophy in all.

The first Austrian to reach a grand slam final since Thomas Muster triumphed here in 1995, Thiem struggled to fend off the world No.72 before easing to a 7-5 7-6 (12-10) 6-1 success.

To get to 11-0 in French Open finals, he'll need to get past the only man who has beaten him on red clay over the last two seasons.

"I don't have any obligation to win, first thing".

Two breaks later Nadal was in a familiar position, serving for the title, and when another Thiem forehand dropped long, his arms were raised in celebration, yet again.

Truth is, there were not many the rest of the way, as Nadal finished with 35 winners and just 19 unforced errors.

Thiem used to hike through the Alps in his homeland as part of his training, but the 24-year-old had an even bigger mountain to climb now.

Just like that, Nadal was off on a five-game burst to lead 3-0 in the second set.

Nadal saved three break points at 1-all in the opening set and another three at 4-all.

Thiem has been to the semifinals in Paris three years in a row, but he lost to eventual champions Novak Djokovic in 2016, then Nadal in 2017.

What went through Nadal's mind right then?

It was hard not to feel sympathy for Thiem, playing in his first grand slam final against a man who simply does not lose this particular battle. "Today was unbelievable for me, with all of Philippe-Chatrier Court full".

On the other hand, del Potro also was involved in a rain-marred quarter-final against third seed Marin Cilic over the last two days.

The three-hour and 50-minute match, which put Del Potro in the French Open's last-four for the second time in his career, was suspended on Wednesday due to the weather, reported Efe.

And the underdog soon faded as Thiem kicked on, racing to two swift breaks in the third and rescuing two break points to serve out the match in style.

Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters and James Bond actress Lea Seydoux have unveiled the Musketeers Cup that will be won by either Rafael Nadal or Dominic Thiem in the French Open final.

The No. 6-seeded pairing from the Czech Republic beat Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya of Japan 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday.

Converted to dollars, the French Open's total offering comes out at $46.3m - ahead of Wimbledon's $45.6m and the Australian Open's $44.5m.

Del Potro, the US Open victor in 2009, is playing the tournament for only the second time since 2012 after a spate of injuries.