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Nadal to face Thiem for French Open title

Nadal to face Thiem for French Open title

Cecchinato, who had not won a match in five attempts at a Grand Slam before Roland Garros, fought valiantly against the number seven seed but ultimately the Austrian's star quality shone through to reach his first major final.

Rafael Nadal tries to win an 11th title at the French Open against Dominic Thiem, the only man to beat the top-ranked Spaniard on clay this season.

The fifth seed, who stunned Roger Federer to win the 2009 US Open at the age of 20, said he never imagined that the likes of the 20-time Grand Slam champion and Nadal would still be standing in his path at major tournaments nearly a decade later. "He beat me in Madrid, he has big power so I have to be at my best and improve", said Nadal.

The second semi-final match of Roland Garros 2018 will not start before 3:30 pm local time, 7 pm IST and 2:30 pm BST.

Dominic Thiem bemoaned his four weeks of military service in 2014 as a "pain in the a**e" when asked whether it stood him in good stead to play at the highest level.

Del Potro insisted his hip had not troubled him during the match, instead putting the defeat down to one simple fact: "His game is too good for me".

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.

Del Potro missed six break points in the opener, including three at 4-4.

This time, Thiem instead faced Cecchinato, who never had won a Grand Slam match until this tournament and was the lowest-ranked men's semifinalist at the clay-court major in 19 years.

"I made three surgeries in my left wrist and I was close to quit (ting) this sport", Del Potro said, according to the Ronald Garros website. After serving a fault, Nadal took the unusual step of heading to the sideline in the middle of a game.

Nadal, in an on-court interview, also said he's sure that runner-up Thiem will win the tournament in "the next couple of years".

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When del Potro avoided a bagel in the sixth game of the second, he raised his arms in celebration. The last one in US Open I lost against Rafa.

Rafael Nadal lifted the French Open trophy for an 11th time Sunday - and this time without the guidance of Uncle Toni.

The key moment, though, was the gripping second-set tiebreak.

The 16th-seeded Gauff, who is 14 years old, beat 15th-seeded Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada 6-4, 6-3.

Thiem survived two tough sets against Marco Cecchinato before cruising through the third for a 7-5, 7-6, 6-1 success.

"I can not believe it now", Karin Thiem, a tennis coach, told a group of reporters. I know I have to play at my best.

Wilander believes Thiem can worry Nadal if he is prepared to "take risks" like Diego Schwartzman did in the quarter-finals when he snapped the left-hander's run of 37 consecutive completed sets won at the French Open by snatching the opener.

Anything can happen in a Grand Slam final.

"It's not easy. I've been on court just a couple of minutes ago".

The Argentine has never beaten Nadal on clay.