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08 June 2018, 08:37 | Anna Jefferson
Tennis: Rafael Nadal reaches 11th French Open semifinal
Rafael Nadal improved to 11-0 in French Open semifinals as he seeks his 11th title at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament, saving all seven break points he faced and overwhelming 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.
Thiem will face either 10-time champion, and world No 1, Rafael Nadal or Juan Martin del Potro, the fifth-seeded Argentine, in Sunday's final. "I have done a lot of things well in the clay court season, it is going to be tough final but I believe I can be ready".
Nadal is hot favourite to win the second Grand Slam of the year after dominating on clay since making his Roland Garros debut in 2005.
Nadal's streak of 37 consecutive set wins at Roland Garros ended Wednesday, but with victory the 32-year-old became only the third player in the Open era (since 1968) to reach 11 semifinals in the same grand slam.
"I played more aggressive".
"I don't give much attention to those studies".
Nadal's backhand was doing most of the damage, with three winners having set up the double break on his way to a two-set lead, and Del Potro was broken to love in his first serve game of the third, with Nadal inflicting a devastating backhand victor up the flank after another majestic defence.
Stephens broke Keys to begin the second set and once again established a 3-1 lead. Even though Nadal hasn't been playing his best all tournament he's still getting through; I expect it to be no different against Del Potro.
He has dropped just one set so far - at the start of his quarter-final win against Diego Schwartzman - and crushed 2009 US Open champion Del Potro in dominant fashion.
Of that set, Thiem said: "If I had lost it, it would have been a very close match".
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 risky opponent.
However, he quickly recovered and looked to have the ascendancy, but the Argentine let six break-point chances slip and Nadal pounced with a solitary break in the 10th game which was enough to allow him to seal the set after 54 minutes of high-octane action. I had three surgeries on my left wrist.
"It has been a long time without a good feeling in my body".
Nadal reached five finals in a row between 2010 and 2014.
"It was a really close tiebreak and I didn't want that especially after I missed an easy volley at 6/4". 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.
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