Ruthless Nadal crushes Del Potro to reach final


"He's not going to give you a free point if he's up 5-love or down love-5", Bresnik said.

The "King of Clay" regrouped himself on Thursday and wrapped up the match at 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

He didn't stop there, such was his extended praise for the recently turned 32-year-old. "I believe I can be ready for that final".

Austria's Dominic Thiem set up a French Open final with 10-time champion Rafael Nadal today after both players won their respective semi-finals in straight sets at Roland Garros.

It was the first time in three years that Nadal had dropped a set in Paris.

Yet Bresnik obviously isn't throwing in the towel.

Thiem survived two tough sets against Marco Cecchinato before cruising through the third for a 7-5, 7-6, 6-1 success.

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"The second set tie-break was the big key to the match, 100 per cent, because obviously he felt all the matches from the past two weeks after that", said Thiem, according to ATP's website.

Nadal said the 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory in 2 hours, 42 minutes was his best match of the tournament. And best of five sets is also a different story. Still, I know how to play against him. I have a plan. "When (Thiem) is dominating the point, he is very risky".

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

It was part of a run in which he claimed 14 of the last 17 games to overwhelm the No. 5-seeded del Potro 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 and earn yet another spot in the title match at Court Philippe Chatrier. Or at least not a blowout. 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. He has undergone four wrist surgeries but the issue, thankfully, was a minor hip complaint.

With his strong clay court play as of late, Nadal is not necessarily walking into this match the clearcut favorite.

Nadal has an 84-2 win-loss record at Roland Garros.

Nadal broke in the lone game he had an opportunity to wrap up the set.

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If Nadal's march toward an 11th championship at Roland Garros was going to be stopped on this day, things were going to have to go del Potro's way right then.

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

Thiem‚ who was playing in his third successive French Open semi-final‚ admitted the second set had been a nervy encounter after needing five set points to get through it. He impressively recovered from a slow start to make the first set close.

Schwartzman, who came back from two sets down to beat Kevin Anderson in the last 16, rediscovered his form, but it came too late to save the set as Nadal served it out in a marathon eighth game on his second set point after saving four break points.

But if there is a tad of intrigue entering this final, it is because of what happened in Rome on May 19, 2017, and in Madrid on May 11, 2018.

"I can not believe it now", Karin Thiem, a tennis coach, told a group of reporters.

"To beat him on clay, I would say the only chance for any player now is to be really aggressive". Stephens won last year's U.S. Open; Halep is 0-3 in major finals.

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"I think if I'm facing Rafa, I'm not the one who has the pressure".