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profishingrods.com October 22, 2018


Dominic Thiem ends Cecchinato fairytale to reach French Open final

10 June 2018, 01:29 | Anna Jefferson

Diego Schwartzman was in control before the first rain interruption

Diego Schwartzman was in control before the first rain interruption

Dominic Thiem has insisted that all the pressure will be on Rafael Nadal when the pair meet in Sunday's French Open final.

It will not have helped that, after beating Marco Cecchinato in the last four, the Austrian then had to watch Nadal demolish fifth seed and former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro to remind him of the enormity of his task.

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"It's not going to be easy but he's facing Dominic, we know he's the only player that beat him on clay the last couple of years". I feel very fortunate to play in front of this crowd.

The world No 1 faces Del Potro who has made the last-four for the first time in nine years.

Notably, Thiem is the only player to have tasted success against Nadal on clay over the last two seasons.

The tournament is unlikely to make up much ground on its rival Slams in the coming years as its organisers, the French Tennis Federation (FFT), focus on financing a modernisation project which includes a new centre court with a retractable roof. "I think he likes the conditions more here than in Madrid, for sure, and best of five is also a different story". "I'm so happy to be in the final again", said Nadal afterward. "I think he showed that at the start of the match Rafa was very nervous and you have to keep his head under the water, and that's what DelPo couldn't do today", said Mouratoglou.

Nadal can become just the second male player in the Open era to reach 11 finals at the same Grand Slam tournament, equaling Roger Federer's record at Wimbledon.

At least Thiem has in the past found the key to unraveling the Nadal clay court enigma. "I'll study my opponent and then it's full power on Sunday". The second set like, the first was dominated by serve until Cilic fired himself up to break at 4-4 - a furious Del Potro throwing his racket at the changeover.




"That", del Potro would say later, "was my chance".

Nadal crushed del Potro's spirit with the intensity of his tennis in the second set, bounding 5-0 ahead before the Argentine registered a game to lift the spirits of his fans. "But I'm also aware that here it's tougher", said Thiem, the first Austrian in a major final since Thomas Muster won in Paris in 1995.

Thiem said after the game.

"That was not a nice feeling".

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.

Clay court supremo Nadal and 10-time French Open champion Nadal admitted to bout of nerves during his hard=fought quarter-final win over Argentinian underdog Diego Schwartzman.

One of those was a 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 rout in the Roland Garros semi-finals 12 months ago. We expect a better Thiem for sure than the one we met previous year.

Thiem sent Cecchinato scurrying around the court before breaking decisively for a 6-5 lead with a lovely forehand victor.

Scalps in Rome and Madrid are impressive but the ultimate test awaits the 24-year-old on the final Sunday of a fascinating two weeks in the French capital.



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