Thiem books spot in French Open final

Thiem books spot in French Open final

The world number one, bidding for a record-extending 11th title, clinched the second set soon after the restart.

Del Potro, playing in the semi-finals for the first time since losing to Roger Federer in 2009, was 0-40 ahead on Nadal's serve at 1-1 but could not press home the break and worryingly appeared to hurt his hip at deuce in that game. His appetite was audible in the long, trailing groans of effort that echoed around the old concrete stadium. Nadal has now won 30 of his last 35 sets played on clay and has lost just one set in this tournament. When I'm serving, should be in my hands but I gave too many chances to him to have the break.

"Delpo is not afraid of too many players in the world". For sure he is beatable, but you have to have the level, and Dominic has the level and you have to play the ideal match and the most important thing is you can't miss the occasions that you have.

But as he himself added later, Nadal in Paris in a best-of-five match is a different ball-game from Nadal elsewhere (even on clay). I don't want anyone to think that it's a routine.

Charmingly, despite Nadal's accomplishments, he's still prone to nerves when he steps on center court here.

Dominic Thiem wrapped up his three-set French Open semi-final victory over Marco Cecchinato in impressive style.

Nadal seldom leaves the door cracked very long.

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.

After dropping the opening set of his first round match he won the next 12.

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"It was not a very nice feeling", Thiem told the Court Philippe Chatrier crowd afterward. Nadal has won 11 straight matches on clay court.

The Spaniard was a set and a break down on Thursday morning before he regrouped and blazed through the last two sets on Friday morning (AEST) in a last-eight showdown played over two days due to rain.

Thiem is the only man to defeat 10-time French Open champion Nadal on clay this season.

A fourth set point for Thiem vanished because of one of Cecchinato's many drop shots.

They tried their best to rouse their man in the third set but it was mission impossible as Nadal, clubbing the ball as if his life depended on it, finished like a raging bull as he headed into his 24th Grand Slam final.

Cecchinato's bid to become the spoiler's spoiler ended, for all intents and purposes, when he was unable to convert any of three set points in an entertaining second-set tiebreaker that was the middle chapter of Thiem's 7-5, 7-6 (10), 6-1 win.

The pivotal part of the match was the second-set tiebreaker.

"He's [Nadal] a big favorite against everybody", said Thiem. Thiem has been in complete control of every match this tournament and is playing some of his most consistent tennis of his life, as he's now in the final for the third time in his last four events.

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