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Thiem ready to topple Nadal in French Open final

Thiem ready to topple Nadal in French Open final”

Nadal needed just the two points to level the match when play resumed, a pair of errant backhands pegging Schwartzman back, and the 11th seed crashed a forehand into the net to go a break down in the first game of the third set.

But Paris, to tweak the title of Ernest Hemingway's famous love letter to the city, has been a predictable feast for Nadal. Hopefully today will be an exception, and the enduringly popular Juan Martin del Potro will at least give the 10-time champion Rafael Nadal a fright. His appetite was audible in the long, trailing groans of effort that echoed around the old concrete stadium.

I'll be back tomorrow to assess the ladies final, and again on Sunday to preview the men's final - I fully expect it to be Nadal v Thiem, but we shall see if Messrs Del Potro and Cecchinato can do anything about this.

"I'm not a big fan of the military service". But I get closer to them, just asking who was it?

The No. 7-seeded Thiem reached the first Grand Slam final of his career by ending the surprising run of 72nd-ranked Marco Cecchinato of Italy at Roland Garros with a powerful performance in a 7-5, 7-6 (10), 6-1 victory Friday. He beat No. 10 seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the third round and No. 8 David Goffin in the fourth before stunning 12-time major champion Djokovic in the quarterfinals. "Best of five is also a different story".

"I'm feeling so, so happy to make the right decision to play here".

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

Nadal seldom leaves the door cracked very long. In the victory, Del Potro won 79 percent of his first serve points and 54 percent of his second serve points. Del Potro had forced six break points during the first set but Nadal fended each one off. 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".

However, having squandered one set point, he went in for a simple backhand volley victor only to dump it into the net. That year, he came so close to beating Roger Federer-and that remains Federer's only Roland Garros crown. Stephens won last year's US Open; Halep is 0-3 in major finals.

Cecchinato had never won a Grand Slam match before this year's Roland Garros but made the semis with a string of stunning wins.

Croatian Cilic played an bad game when serving for the set but he was gifted another chance to serve for the set after breaking del Potro again and at the second time of asking he levelled the match.

The third quickly disappeared as well and Cecchinato had set points of his own, but Thiem finally put the Italian away before going on to win 7-5 7-6 (12/10) 6-1.

"Thiem is an awesome player". "He's improving every year".

Thiem has been to the semifinals in Paris three years in a row. "He has the keys, and he has to take advantage".



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