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profishingrods.com June 20, 2018


Refreshed Rafael Nadal surges into French Open semifinals

09 June 2018, 08:45 | Regina Holmes

Rafael Nadal will resume his battle against Diego Schwartzman on Thursday morning

Rafael Nadal in action against Diego Schwartzman

Basically, it's typical Nadal in the French Open.

Nadal, 32, won 6-4 6-1 6-2 to set up a meeting with Austrian seventh seed Dominic Thiem in Sunday's final.

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. "And I have been trying and trying every day to fix my problem in my wrist", Del Potro said. So there is not 10 more chances to keep playing here.

The victor will play either seventh seed Dominic Thiem, who appears in his third straight semi-final in Paris or Italian Marco Cecchinato, who will hope to continue his dream run having beaten former champion Novak Djokovic in the last round. For sure he is beatable, but you have to have the level, and Dominic has the level and you have to play the ideal match and the most important thing is you can't miss the occasions that you have. "Best of five is also different story". I think this is too good of an opportunity for Thiem to pass up.

Charmingly, despite Nadal's accomplishments, he's still prone to nerves when he steps on center court here.

Thiem will play his first Grand Slam final of his career when he meets Nadal on Sunday.

Nadal seldom leaves the door cracked very long. Del Potro, who has struggled with injury, recently, may find it tough to stick with the Spaniard physically and won't have what it takes to knock off the King of Clay. The Argentinian had forced six break points during the first set but each time Nadal fended them off. Nadal had not had a sniff on Del Potro's serve until, at 5-4, two swishes of his forehand forced two set points, the second of which he converted when Del Potro netted. Nadal's coach, Carlos Moya, told a small group of reporters it is something to be aware of but not to fixate on: "Not too much focus, otherwise it can get in your head and it's not helping".

Yet Nadal, whose all-time claycourt record now stands at 414-36 says nobody should assume his feats are routine and that each victory is celebrated like the first.




But that was only after Nadal had allowed him just two games in a last-eight mauling in Monte Carlo.

Rafa is in search of his 11th career French Open title and 17th Grand Slam singles title overall, while Thiem will play in his first Grand Slam final. Only one of his wins at Roland Garros this year has been decided via straight sets, but a common theme seems to be that he's got better as matches have got longer.

Nevertheless Cecchinato can look back on a breakthrough tournament - he had never won a match at a grand slam before beating Marius Copil 10-8 in the fifth set last week.

Over the past two seasons, Nadal is 49-2 on red clay, with both losses coming against Thiem: in the quarterfinals at Rome in May 2017, and the quarterfinals at Madrid in May 2018.

This was the No. 5-seeded del Potro's first semifinal at Roland Garros since 2009.

Here is a full rundown of Friday's results and a closer look at how Nadal and Thiem set the stage for their French Open final encounter.

"He's [Nadal] a big favorite against everybody", said Thiem. He was playing better than me today, and so nothing.



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