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Ruthless Nadal crushes Del Potro to reach final

Ruthless Nadal crushes Del Potro to reach final

Having won the French open 10 times, the Spanish icon will look to secure his 11th title in Sunday's clash with Dominic Thiem.

However, Nadal has won both their clashes at Roland Garros - in 2014 and in last year's semi-finals by a comfortable 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 margin. For me it's incredible.

He is the only player to beat Nadal on clay in the past two years - in Rome last year and in Madrid last month - and this season no other player, not even the undisputed claycourt king, can count as many match wins on the red dirt.

Bresnik knows, right along with everyone else, what a hard task it is to try to slow Nadal in a best-of-five-set match on his favorite surface and at his favorite tournament.

However, Whitaker believes Thiem can come out on top in his first Grand Slam final if things go his way.

"That", del Potro would say later, "was my chance". Nadal saved that second trio of break points Friday, held there, then broke in the next game to grab that set.

"Forget the 10 (French Open titles) and forget what happened previous year, Thiem has to remember what happened in Madrid which is a title Nadal wants to win nearly as much as the French", Wilander, Eurosport's chief analyst, told Reuters.

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However, it was Del Potro who was in the ascendancy in the rallies in the first set.

While Thiem and Nadal are nearly spot on in their serving percentages this tournament, Nadal's returning has tended to be a little sharper and he will look to neutralise that aspect of the Austrian's game by getting balls back.

Thiem is looking to become only the second Austrian player - man or woman - to win a Grand Slam title after Thomas Muster's French Open victory in 1995.

The 24-year-old Austrian ended the fairytale of Italy's Marco Cecchinato, conqueror of Novak Djokovic, in the first of Friday's semifinals at Roland Garros.

"He's the big favourite against everybody and still I know how to play against him", Thiem said.

"If lost that tiebreak it would have been a very close match I think and I didn't want that".

More prize money is up for grabs than ever before at this year's French Open but it remains the least lucrative of the four Grand Slams for players to win.

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Nadal may be historically dominant, writes Jack Houghton, but Sunday's final could be a changing-of-the-guard, and an aggressive approach to the Set Betting market is the call.

Thiem weathered three set points for Cecchinato, at 7-6, 9-8 and 10-9. You need to clinch that first set because he is coming out nervous.

The two were locked on serve in the second set until they were separated by an enthralling tiebreaker.

Expect him to do the same against the burgeoning talent of Thiem. Nadal claimed the final two points of that game in contrasting fashion, ripping a cross-court backhand that left the crowd gasping and deftly hitting a volley off a tricky net cord.

"That was not a nice feeling". I have to improve a little bit.

Nadal wrapped up that set by winning the first two points played Thursday and he was on his way, never relenting. He is 10-0 in French Open finals and 77-0 at the tournament overall when he wins the first set, so getting a jump on him early - a tactic far easier to write about than to execute - would seem to be a fairly obvious strategy.

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