Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
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'I have a plan' for Rafael Nadal, says finalist Dominic Thiem

'I have a plan' for Rafael Nadal, says finalist Dominic Thiem

World No.1 Rafael Nadal will play Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in his 11th French Open semi-final appearance, while Simona Halep has reached her third final and held on to her world No.1 spot with victory over Garbine Muguruza. Del Potro had forced six break points during the first set but Nadal fended each one off.

Ten-times champion Nadal then pounced in the 10th game to take the opening set and fifth seed Del Potro's challenged evaporated in the Court Philippe Chatrier sunshine.

The Spaniard needed just over two hours to take down the Argentine en route to another French Open final with Thiem waiting in the wings.

"Del Potro has achieved great victories this year". And from tomorrow on, I will do what I have to do to get ready for Sunday. "That's why he's the No 1 and beating all the guys", said Del Potro.

Del Potro missed another chance at 2-0 in the second set and from that point there was only going to be one victor.

Thiem "plays very heavy topspin, very aggressive, goes for the shots, [has] fitness, condition", Moya said.

Del Potro gave 11 break point chances in 23 service games (0.48 per game) in this quarter-final, considerably higher than his 0.35 per game figure on clay in 2018.

'As you suffer, when you have bad moments, for example, in Acapulco when I was stuck and couldn't play in Miami, as well, these are hard moments. The most recent meeting was in this years Rome Masters, a match Thiem won in straight sets.

Meanwhile Austria's Dominic Thiem is bidding to reach his maiden Grand Slam final against surprise semifinalist Marco Cecchinato of Italy. 'When you're in a final like Roland Garros, it's a great happiness.

"If I'd won the second set I think it is totally different, the third set", he said.

After discussing his aspirations with an incredible 11th Roland Garros title now in sight, Rafa - a fervent Real Madrid fan - concluded, "I'm glad Cristiano is 23". I don't want anyone to think that it's a routine.

Thiem weathered three set points for Cecchinato, at 7-6, 9-8 and 10-9. It was within myself, Nadal said of the difference in his play between Wednesday and Thursday.

The best player can lose his cool on occasion, even if he's known as the "gentle giant".

'Today is a day to rejoice, ' he said after his 6-4 6-1 6-2 win.

Nadal has never failed to win the title when reaching the last four at Roland Garros, but knows that Del Potro, who he has lost to five times, is a unsafe opponent.

The final many called when the draws were made has come to fruition as 10-time French Open victor, Rafael Nadal, goes up against first-time finalist, Dominic Thiem, in Sunday's final.

Cecchinato's career has been tainted by his involvement in a match-fixing scandal; he was banned for 18 months in 2016 before having the suspension overturned.

But in Paris, on the clay surface where he is most comfortable on, Thiem played a delectable mix of power and touch tennis to end Cecchinato's fairytale run. Then Thiem got to 10-all with a drop shot of his own.

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

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