Nadal insists he remains motivated to win his 11th French Open title

Nadal insists he remains motivated to win his 11th French Open title

Nadal insists he remains motivated to win his 11th French Open title

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

Thiem, who will be competing in his first Grand Slam final, beat Nadal at last year's Italian Open and won the pair's most recent meeting at the Madrid Open last month.

"If I want to beat him, I have to play that way like I did in Rome and in Madrid". And I had my chances today, but I couldn't play my best because of him.

"I think that was my chance of the match", Del Potro said of the ninth game.

This time, Thiem faced Cecchinato, a 25-year-old from Sicily 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.

Dominic Thiem reached the French Open final at the third time of asking, potentially setting up a crunch clash with Rafael Nadal.

"Just thinking in a positive way and just thinking that I have to hold". But Nadal saved all six and broke in game 10 to take a one-set lead.

The injury-prone Argentine had a discussion with Dr. Bernard Montalvan during the changeover, with Nadal leading 3-2 in the first set.

"Forget the 10 (French Open titles) and forget what happened past year, Thiem has to remember what happened in Madrid which is a title Nadal wants to win nearly as much as the French", Wilander, Eurosport's chief analyst, told Reuters. "I'm going to play with my highest passion and love for the game, and for the sport, to try to have success".

Thiem, meanwhile, becomes the first Austrian to reach a Grand Slam final since Thomas Muster triumphed at Roland Garros in 1995. Thiem has split his last 10 final appearances and is 8-5 in career final appearances on clay.

There have, however, appeared to be one or two chinks in Nadal's armour at Roland Garros this year. The two first played each other in an ITF final in Modena, Italy in 2013 with Cecchinato winning.

Halep earned a 4-0 head start in the opening 20 minutes as she stormed to the first set advantage with spiteful strokes, despite handing Muguruza a single break with rushed serving. That said, Thiem has already been at a high level for a long time and he'll be used to this situation.

Both players contributed to an entertaining start, but Thiem quickly took control, breaking through in the opening game and then comfortably holding easily.

Despite rain delaying his passage through to the final, Rafa Nadal has continued his incredible Roland Garros record by reaching yet another showpiece in France. Thiem looks like he belongs on the big stage - but will he take that confidence into a showdown against Nadal who has only ever lost twice on the big Philippe Chatrier Court? Cecchinato was accused of match-fixing and suspended for 18 months in 2016, but he appealed, and his punishment was dropped on a technicality.

Thiem battled to a 7-5 7-6 and then walloped a clearly dejected Cecchinato 6-1 in the third to qualify for the final after making the semi-final on three consecutive occasions.

"That was definitely the key to the match", Cecchinato said.

A fourth set point for Thiem was erased with - what else? - a drop shot by Cecchinato.

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