Thiem and Nadal win in straight sets to reach French Open final

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Plenty have gone in with sound tactical plans against the 16-times Grand Slam champion in Paris but when the forehand bombardment begins, the best-laid plans usually fall apart as was the case in Friday's semi-final when Nadal thrashed Juan Martin del Potro who many thought posed a credible threat.

Throw in three titles at the U.S. Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the Australian Open, and Nadal is up to 17 majors, second among men only to Roger Federer's 20.

But Thiem, unusually standing up to Nadal's first serve, forced two break points in the next game and converted the second with a flashing forehand into the right corner.

Yet Bresnik obviously isn't throwing in the towel.

The No. 7-seeded Thiem, a 24-year-old from Austria, is appearing in his first Grand Slam final.

It was a first Grand Slam final for Thiem, a 24-year-old Austrian.

The seventh-seeded Austrian ended Nadal's record-breaking run of 50 successive sets won on clay at the Madrid Open earlier this season, while he also saw off the Spaniard in last year's Internazionali d'Italia.

Nadal, a 16-time Grand Slam champion, claimed his 85th win here against just two losses after weathering a big-hitting opening from 2009 US Open victor Del Potro to win 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.

Coming back from two-sets down proved to be a challenge too far for a man not used to contesting best-of-five-set contests.

"He's a big favorite against everybody", he told reporters.

"If I want to beat him, I have to play that way like I did in Rome and in Madrid".

More news: Federal Judge Approves AT&T Time Warner Merger
More news: Max Verstappen fastest in 1st practice at Canadian GP
More news: Meeting with Kim Jong Un was 'very, very good'

Del Potro insisted his hip had not troubled him during the match, instead putting the defeat down to one simple fact: "His game is too good for me".

But Thiem showed resilience in getting two break points on Nadal's serve.

"I am very happy to be in another Roland Garros final, it is the most important tournament of my career". "He has the power".

Nadal tightened his grip‚ going to 5-1 on another double break in the third set and sealed the match when Del Potro hit a backhand long. Or at least not a blowout.

The injury-prone Argentine had a discussion with Dr. Bernard Montalvan during the changeover, with Nadal leading 3-2 in the first set.

"Because of the way he is, his fitness and the way he plays, he's the king of the tournament", Del Potro commented on Nadal. The French Open, like all Grand Slam tournaments, is best-of-five for men. So there was mild concern when Nadal called for the trainer midway through a game, requiring treatment on what looked like cramp in his hand.

And on the penultimate point of the semifinal, after being run ragged, the 2009 US Open victor could only offer up a smile.

Rafael Nadal held serve in the opening game against Juan Martin del Potro in their French Open semifinal. He impressively recovered from a slow start to make the first set close.

Thiem led 6-3 but suddenly lost focus.

"I can not believe it now", Karin Thiem, a tennis coach, told a group of reporters. "I am so proud to be here playing my tennis in front of you (the crowd) and I feel at home here", he added.

"I don't have any obligation to win, first thing".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.