Published: Sat, June 09, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Twitter Reacts as Nadal Beats del Potro to Reach French Open Final

Twitter Reacts as Nadal Beats del Potro to Reach French Open Final

Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro came through a clash of the titans against Marin Cilic to reach his first French Open semi-final for nine years, winning a rain-delayed duel 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 6-3 7-5.

Nadal edged a tight first set against Del Potro but then blew the fifth seed away.

Thiem has yet to prove that he can stay with Nadal in a best-of-five-set match, losing in the second round of the French Open in 2014, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3, and again in the French Open semi-finals past year by the lopsided and deflating score of 6-3, 6-4, 6-0, after plenty of pre-match build-up.

Del Potro has won two of his past three meetings with Nadal. And from tomorrow on, I will do what I have to do to get ready for Sunday. It's 2018, with Nadal still up there yearning and straining from the throne, so Soderling said: "It says so much about him".

This incredible statistic gives Nadal a vast edge on every single opponent on tour, and even a generally strong server as Del Potro has a projected hold percentage of 57.6% for this match, according to my model.

Del Potro missed another chance at 2-0 in the second set and from that point there was only going to be one victor.

"The second-set tie-break was the big key to the match, 100 percent, because obviously, he (Cecchinato) felt all the matches from these two weeks after that", Thiem said. In the fourth game Friday, del Potro clutched at his left hip after being wrong-footed by one shot from Nadal and was visited by a doctor at the next changeover. However, he was beaten in the most recent - the US Open semi-final a year ago - and has lost nine of their 14 matches overall.

Thiem, 24, will contest his first major final after beating unseeded Italian Marco Cecchinato in straights sets earlier on Friday.

"It's always hard to play someone from your country and such a good friend, but I'm happy I played my tennis", Stephens said.

Nadal becomes 11-0 in semifinal matches at the French Open; he's closing in on his record-extending 11th title at Roland Garros and what would be his 17th major trophy in all.

Nadal has never failed to win the title when reaching the last four at Roland Garros, but knows that Del Potro, who he has lost to five times, is a risky opponent.

"I have to play aggressively".

Cecchinato will make it interesting if he's able to play the way he did against Djokovic, but I think Dominic Thiem reaches his first grand slam final. "Best of five is also a different story". Cecchinato made some headway by repeatedly using drop shots, but Thiem eventually started tracking them down well.

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. I'm not sure. He throws in matches sometimes so he might not play his best. Thiem battled to a 7-5 7-6 and then walloped a clearly dejected Cecchinato 6-1 in the third to qualify for the final after making the semi-final on three consecutive occasions.

"Once he gets ahead in the match, his confidence gets back", said Moya, the 1998 French Open champion.

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