Thiem and Nadal win in straight sets to reach French Open final

Thiem and Nadal win in straight sets to reach French Open final

Rafael Nadal looks to win back-to-back French Opens for the eighth time in his career after beating Juan Martin del Porto Friday in the semifinals at Roland Garros.

He will face Rafael Nadal in the semi-final.

Thiem has yet to prove that he can stay with Nadal in a best-of-five-set match, losing in the second round of the French Open in 2014, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3, and again in the French Open semifinals a year ago by the lopsided and deflating score of 6-3, 6-4, 6-0, after plenty of prematch buildup.

"He is a nightmare opponent for Nadal", Wilander said about Del Potro, as quoted on Tennis World USA.

After a sticky first set in which Del Potro's powerful groundstrokes and heavy serve earned the Argentine several chances to forge ahead, Nadal seized control with as devastating a display as he has ever produced on Philippe Chatrier court. "Good tactics and mentality in the first set".

Nadal has beaten Thiem handily in straight sets in both of their Roland-Garros matches, though, including last year's semi-final.

Del Potro pulled up with a hip complaint as he trailed 2-1 in the first set against Nadal, but despite clear discomfort, he fought on and made it a dogged affair until surrendering a break that gave the world No. 1 an advantage.

If Nadal's march toward an 11th championship at Roland Garros was going to be stopped on this day, things were going to have to go del Potro's way right then.

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Del Potro missed six break points in the opener, including three at 4-4. "We don't have to forget that, we have to be aware of that, but also not give too much importance to that otherwise it can get in your head and it's not helping".

Nadal has already established himself as one of the five greatest men's tennis players in history.

"You know when you start the clay-court season that Dominic, he's one of these players that have the chance to win every tournament that he's playing", Nadal said, "and maybe even (more so) here in Roland Garros, because he's strong physically". "Still, I know how to play against him".

Unseeded Japanese pair Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya will take on sixth-seeded Czech duo Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova in the French Open women's doubles final. "And losing against Rafa on his best surface, his best court, I'm quite relaxed about that".

Thiem, the No. 7 seed, reached his first Grand Slam final by ending the surprising run of 72nd-ranked Marco Cecchinato of Italy with a powerful 7-5, 7-6 (10), 6-1 victory Friday.

And the world No. 8 wasted no time in racing away with the decisive third set to book his place against Nadal in his first grand-slam final.

Ominously for Thiem, Nadal said: "My feeling is I have a very hard match against a player that is playing great". And I had my chances today, but I couldn't play my best because of him. I'm going to play Wimbledon, of course, and then I will have to analyse the situation afterwards, when I will be ready to play. I will try everything for my plan to work out here, not only in Madrid or in Rome. If I had won that break, we could have played a longer match.

"That was not a nice feeling". The win takes him to his 11th French Open final. I felt that I was playing a little bit under more stress than usual.

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