Watch Nadal vs del Potro online, start time

Austria's Dominic Thiem in action during his semi final match against It

Austria's Dominic Thiem in action during his semi final match against It

Thiem is the only man to have beaten Nadal on clay over the past two seasons, including a surprise victory in the Madrid Open quarter-finals last month, but there was no repeat shock on Court Philippe Chatrier as the top seed prevailed 6-4 6-3 6-2.

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 in 14 meetings, is a unsafe opponent.

In greenback terms that comes out at $2.6m, making it the smallest winner's prize of the year's four Grand Slam events and almost $1m less than the richest tournament the US Open which paid its 2017 winners - Nadal and Sloane Stephens - $3.7m each.

Austria's Dominic Thiem played Italy's Marco Cecchinato during their men's singles semi-final match on day thirteen of the French Open.

Cecchinato had never won a Grand Slam match before this year's Roland Garros but made the semis with a string of stunning wins.He put out seeded players Pablo Carreno Busta and David Goffin before the seismic shock of knocking out 2016 champion Djokovic in the quarter-finals.

Thiem, who beat Nadal in Madrid this season, Rome past year and in Buenos Aires on clay in 2016, trails 3-6 in the pair's head-to-head. "He beat me in Madrid, he has big power so I have to be at my best and improve", said Nadal.

So nerves could come into play in the early going against Nadal, who will be bidding for his 17th major title overall. After a harrowing first two sets, Thiem needed only 21 minutes to win the clinching set. "So I need more work for go top 10 or top 20, so these matches was very important for me".

Nadal is bidding to become only the second player to win 11 titles at any Grand Slam tournament after Margaret Court, who won the Australian women's singles title 11 times.

"I have done a lot of things well in the clay court season, but I believe I can be ready for the final".

Del Potro missed six break points in the opener, including three at 4-4. Although he lost the first point of the fourth game, a flawless drop shot got Schwartzman to 15-all, and a backhand victor from followed by a drop shot gave Nadal a second break an 4-1 lead. I felt that I was playing a little bit under more stress than usual, and he was able to take control of the point too many times.

Thiem used to hike through the Alps in his homeland as part of his training, but the 24-year-old had an even bigger mountain to climb now.

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

"If I lost that tie-break it would have been a very close match and I didn't want that".

Nadal acknowledged that Thiem has been a "very complex" opponent.

Rattled by the Italian's revival, Thiem clicked into overdrive - and aided by Cecchinato unforced errors - clinched a crucial break for 6-5 by crunching a forehand victor.

"If I'd won the second set I think it is totally different, the third set", he said.

Increasingly frustrated at Cecchinato's resistance, Thiem lost his composure completely in the second set.

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.