BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

Rafa Nadal books French final showdown with Dominic Thiem

 Comments
Now Reading:

Rafa Nadal books French final showdown with Dominic Thiem

Rafa Nadal books French final showdown with Dominic Thiem
Text size Aa Aa

Ruthless Rafael Nadal punished Juan Martin del Potro for missed opportunities as he reached his 11th French Open final with a 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory on Friday.

Argentine Del Potro often had Nadal in trouble in a ferocious first set but paid heavily for failing to convert any of the six break points that came his way at 1-1 and 4-4.

Once Nadal stole the opener with a break in the 10th game it was one-way traffic as he left Del Potro trailing in a cloud of Parisian clay dust to set up a final against Dominic Thiem.

"It was a tough first set with opportunities for Juan Martin, I am fortunate that I won the first set and then I played more aggressively," Nadal, who equals Roger Federer's feat of reaching the final of a single Slam 11 times, said on court as fans chanted "Viva Espana".

"I am very happy to be back in the final here at Roland Garros. For me it's incredible.

"Dominic Thiem beat me in Madrid this year and played with big power. I know I have to play my best tennis to have a chance on Sunday. I believe I can be ready for that final."

Thiem's rise to the top continued when he ended unheralded Italian Marco Cecchinato's run to reach the final of the French Open with a 7-5 7-6(10) 6-1 win on Friday.

The seventh seed, the first Austrian man to reach a Grand Slam final since Thomas Muster triumphed at Roland Garros in 1995, will take on either Argentine fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro or 10-times champion Rafael Nadal.

Cecchinato, the world number 72, played fearlessly and used his whole arsenal of claycourt weapons, but he came up short against the only player to beat Nadal on his favourite surface this season.

The 24-year-old Thiem, the youngest man since Nadal to reach the final in Paris, ended the contest on his first match point with a forehand winner.