June 18, 2018

Twitter Reacts as Nadal Beats del Potro to Reach French Open Final

08 June 2018, 09:25 | Joan Schultz

ImageThe two men’s quarterfinals scheduled for Wednesday were suspended because

ImageThe two men’s quarterfinals scheduled for Wednesday were suspended because

Rafael Nadal will face Dominic Thiem in the final of the French Open final after coasting to a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory in his semi-final against the Argentinian Juan Martín del Potro.

Rafael Nadal extinguished the threat of Juan Martin del Potro to canter into another French Open final, where he will be seeking a record-extending 11th title.

Thiem, who beat Nadal in three sets in May, is ranked No. 8 in the world and will be playing in his first grand slam final.

It will be the second time Nadal and Del Potro meet at Roland Garros.

The Argentine - who will rise to world No. 4 in the ATP rankings on Monday - was well beaten by the 10-time champion on Friday, with Nadal booking his spot in an 11th final at Roland Garros on Sunday. However, I said that I'd be shocked if Cecchinato defeated Djokovic, and he managed that feat, so the Italian clay-courter can not be completely written off in advance. I ran to everywhere and I did - I mean, I'm finishing in good shape, which is good to me.

He did not look unduly affected though and his heavy groundstrokes took a toll on Nadal who rescued three more break points in the ninth game.

Schwartzman compiled a 20-4 edge in winners in that first set, then broke Nadal for the fifth time in eight service games and was ahead 3-2 in the second when a rain delay of just under an hour arrived. "And in my opinion, the match changed", Nadal said.

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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.

With that being said, Thiem is on the upswing of his career. "And I have been trying and trying every day to fix my problem in my wrist", Del Potro said. When play resumed Thursday, Nadal got the two points he needed to claim the set and had all the momentum from there. Besides being broken once in the second set and being upset with a fan, Del Potro completely dominated his quarterfinal and looks to be in rare form at the moment.

"He was playing great, and I was playing too defensive".

The third quickly disappeared as well and Cecchinato had set points of his own, but Thiem finally put the Italian away before going on to win 7-5 7-6 (12/10) 6-1.

Any discussion about Cecchinato's match-fixing scandal should start with an acknolwedgement of his ultimate acquittal, but the circumstantial evidence certianly isn't particularly favorable (read this thread for details).

I'll be back tomorrow to assess the ladies final, and again on Sunday to preview the men's final - I fully expect it to be Nadal v Thiem, but we shall see if Messrs Del Potro and Cecchinato can do anything about this.

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