French Open glance: Nadal taking on Thiem in final | Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

13 June, 2018, 08:42 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
  • Playing at Roland Garros was the right call admits jubilant Del Potro

Yesterday I was doing many winners, not many unforced errors. Upon resumption on Thursday, the defending champion stepped on the gas and crushed Schwartzman 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

Del Potro certainly has the firepower to trouble Nadal.

Nadal broke in the lone game he had an opportunity to wrap up the set. Two more break chances were saved when Diego sent a service return out.

It rarely is for Nadal at a place he has lorded over the way no other man ever has at any Grand Slam tournament.

Although at times during the first set against Del Potro, especially when he was 0-40 down at 1-1 and 15-40 down at 4-4 it looked as though he might be in for a real scrap. He missed the tournament every year from 2013-16 because of injuries, including three operations on his left wrist. "It was very hard to stop that", Nadal told reporters.

Seventh seed Thiem, who will be playing in his first grand slam final, is regarded as second only to Nadal on clay - albeit probably quite a distant second.

Nadal beat Stan Wawrinka in the 2017 French Open.

I played two sets at the same level (as Djokovic) against Thiem. He's playing with big confidence. "I was so nervous before the match because I knew it would be a tough match". I know I have to play my best if I want to have chances.

"If it's going to be him on Sunday, I will try everything so that my plan is also going to work out a little bit here and not only in Madrid or in Rome".


Against del Potro, Nadal did not record a single ace and converted only 61 percent of his first serves. He then overcame spirited resistance from Marterer to win 6-3 6-2 7-6.

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.

Thiem has been to the semifinals in Paris three years in a row.

In 2016, Cecchinato was accused of match-fixing and suspended for 18 months, but he appealed, and his punishment was dropped on a technicality.

Nadal tightened his grip, going to 5-1 on another double break in the third set and sealed the match when Del Potro hit a backhand long.World 72 Cecchinato had knocked out three seeded players to reach the semi-finals, including 12-time major victor Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.But Thiem, 24, was too strong and now believes he has a particularly powerful weapon on his side for the final - breakfast. He beat No. 10 seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the third round and No. 8 David Goffin in the fourth before stunning 12-time major champion Djokovic in the quarterfinals.

"You have to be focused and keep your passion for the game". Cecchinato made some headway by repeatedly using drop shots, but Thiem eventually started tracking them down well.

However, the 25-year-old failed to take the three sets points he fashioned and was brutally punished after going two sets down, with two breaks for Thiem allowing him to secure the third set in just 28 minutes.

"That was not a nice feeling". The Argentine dropped the second set against the Croat but came back strong to take the match 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.

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