Rafael Nadal takes on Dominic Thiem in the French Open men's final


For me it's incredible. He was the first man since Mats Wilander in 1982 to win the French Open on his debut. As long as Thiem continues to serve at such a high level, he's going to give himself a fair chance at the biggest victory of his career. And he practices that way too. I think, and I didn't put not one bad face. "And Nadal has been doing it for years and years and years".

Appearing in his third consecutive appearance in the final four at Roland Garros, Thiem finally got to face someone other than eventual champions Nadal (2017) or Novak Djokovic (2016), and he took full advantage. Thiem has a chance to win his third title of the year and his 11th for his career.

Thiem went through one pivotal stretch against Cecchinato, a 25-year-old from Sicily who never had won a Grand Slam match until this tournament and was the lowest-ranked men's semi-finalist at the clay-court major in 19 years.

A fourth set point for Thiem vanished because of one of Cecchinato's many drop shots.

Rafael Nadal progressed to his 11th French Open semi-final on Thursday.

These two have played nine times and Nadal has won six of those matches.

Clay court supremo Nadal and 10-time French Open champion Nadal admitted to bout of nerves during his hard=fought quarter-final win over Argentinian underdog Diego Schwartzman.

Nadal saved another three break points before holding with a sublime victor, then unleashed a couple of magnificent shots and Del Potro netted a backhand to lose a set which he had the better of. "But I'm also aware that here it's tougher", said Thiem, the first Austrian in a major final since Thomas Muster won in Paris in 1995. He likes the conditions more here than in Madrid, for sure.

Cecchinato's bid to become the spoiler's spoiler ended, for all intents and purposes, when he was unable to convert any of three set points in an entertaining second-set tiebreaker that was the middle chapter of Thiem's 7-5, 7-6 (10), 6-1 win.

"He's the biggest in our sport in Austria", he said. "I have a plan".

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The men's showpiece match between Nadal and Thiem takes place on Court Philippe-Chatrier and starts at 2pm (UK time). Get ready for an 11-time champion. Thiem will have to produce tremendous quality and depth for hours to have a chance to join Soderling and Djokovic's exclusive club. "Nadal in four sets".

With that in mind, Bresnik said he did not anticipate a victory for his pupil this year.

"This is one of my favourite tournaments and I'm looking forward to Saturday". "When (Thiem) is dominating the point, he is very risky".

Thiem is responsible for both of those losses - at Rome in May 2017, and at Madrid last month - which at least lends a little intrigue to Sunday's proceedings.

"It was a poor performance", Bresnik said.

"Ekaterina and I have shared great success as a team, and this moment is what we've always dreamed of", Vesnina said.

Bresnik likes Thiem's current state of mind and form after encouraging him to play at the low-level ATP event in Lyon, France, the week before Roland Garros.

"It was even heavier and more overcast than I even remember it being". "But I like this". But now I am so happy. People said: 'It's stupid.

"Because if you have tape behind the wristband, then it holds a little bit more the sweat". Plus he insists the pressure is all on his opponent. After holding there, Nadal broke del Potro to take that set and was on his way, taking 14 of the last 17 games.