Nadal beats Thiem in straight sets for 11th French Open title — NewsAlert

Marcus Newton
June 13, 2018

Juan Martin Del Potro called the tournament doctor early in his French Open semifinal against Rafael Nadal.

That's only €100,000 more - just a 4.5 per cent rise - than last year's champions Rafael Nadal and Jelena Ostapenko collected.

"I was in the same seat", he said after watching Nadal beat Dominic Thiem in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

As for what sort of tactics will be employed Sunday, Nadal's coach, Carlos Moya, offered a hint. He takes on rising tennis star Dominic Thiem for the title.

"He managed to do it well".

When you're in a final like Roland Garros, it's a great happiness.

"If I want to beat him, I have to play that way like I did in Rome and in Madrid". "That's the only way for me to approach the tough moments".

"It's been a lot of years of playing and doing the same things every year".

But while the Swiss has succumbed in three title matches in southwest London, Nadal has never tasted defeat in a final in southwest Paris, as Bresnik - and the rest of the tennis world - knows.

Nadal and Thiem have met nine times so far in their careers, with Nadal having had the better of it with six wins to Thiem's three.

The 10-time champion was much-improved under the sunshine on Court Philippe Chatrier after finding life hard the night before, clinching a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over dogged Argentinian Schwartzman on his fourth match point.

Ken Rosewall, who won the title in 1953 and 1968, presented Nadal with the trophy.

Nadal will remain at the top of the ATP rankings ahead of Roger Federer.

Anything can happen in a Grand Slam final.

He was serving in the fourth game when he went back to his chair and unwrapped strapping on his left wrist.

His uncle thought wrapping around Nadal's left forearm was too tight. 'I can't give him the game.

"He's one of the best players in the world on this surface", Nadal told reporters.

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It was the Austrian's third consecutive appearance in the semifinals at Roland Garros.

The Spanish ace dropped the first set and was down 3-2 in the second before a rain break swung the momentum in his favour.

Until 4-all, 15-all in the opening set, to be precise. Since then, the Spaniard has been imperious.

If I had won the second set, I think it would have been totally different the third set.

Thiem is contesting his first Grand Slam final. Although he lost the first point of the fourth game, a flawless drop shot got Schwartzman to 15-all, and a backhand victor from followed by a drop shot gave Nadal a second break an 4-1 lead.

He led by two sets plus a break early in the third, when the middle finger on his racket-wielding left hand was cramping so badly he couldn't straighten it. He took the biggest of big cuts on groundstrokes, his feet leaving the ground as he threw his whole body into them, as if the very outcome - not of any individual point, but the whole shebang - depended on the strength of that one whip of his white racket.

By then, Nadal was finding his spots.

Nadal had 12 unforced errors.

However, having squandered one set point, he went in for a simple backhand volley victor only to dump it into the net.

But Nadal insists he is ready for the fight on Sunday.

Thiem improved on serve during the second set, facing zero break points, but he was not able to seize on any of the three break points as the set went to the tie break.

Thiem, 24, is showing no signs of nerves in his first Grand Slam final.

The crowd cheered when Zidane was shown on the big screen. Next he faced break point but a bold drop shot annulled the threat. He converted the second to make the score 2-1.

By the sixth game of the opener, Cecchinato had claimed just one point off the Austrian's serve. So there are not 10 more chances to keep playing here. At No. 72, he is the lowest-ranked French Open semifinalist since 1999. Stephens won last year's U.S. Open; Halep is 0-3 in major finals.

While Thiem beat Marco Cecchinato in first semi-final to reach his first Grand Slam final.

The Argentine has never beaten Nadal on clay.

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