Dominic Thiem ends Cecchinato fairytale to reach French Open final

Grant SmithJun 09, 2018

Rafael Nadal will face Dominic Thiem in the final of the French Open final after coasting to a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory in his semi-final against the Argentinian Juan Martín del Potro.

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

Nadal saved three break points at 1-all in the opening set and another three at 4-all.

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.

In the other remaining quarterfinal, which will continue Thursday at Court Suzanne Lenglen, No. 3 Marin Cilic and No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro were at 5-all in a first-set tiebreaker when the play-ending shower came.

Austria's Dominic Thiem celebrates as he defeats Italy's Marco Cecchinato during their semifinal match of the French Open. Nadal is 49-0 against everyone else on his preferred surface in 2017 and 2018.

The 29-year-old set up a clash with 10-time champion Rafael Nadal. I had a lot of break points. 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, 6-1.

The match began on Wednesday in heavy, humid conditions, and Nadal lost his first set in Paris since 2015 before turning a deficit around in the second set to lead 5-3 when rain caused the match to be suspended.

-Tennis Channel Plus features up to 10 courts of live action from Roland Garros beginning Sunday, May 27 at 5:00am ET. "It was destructive a little bit", Thiem, who won two claycourt tournaments this season, said. Cecchinato made some headway by repeatedly using drop shots, but Thiem eventually started tracking them down well.

- Is playing in the semi-finals for the first time since 2009 after years of injury woe. "But in terms of play, what changed is how I played and how I managed the match". I have to play my best.

Nadal, who is only the second man to reach 11 finals at one Grand Slam after Roger Federer achieved the same feat at Wimbledon, said: "The first set was very hard, there were lots of opportunities for Del Potro and I was perhaps a little lucky to win it".

Thiem weathered three set points for Cecchinato, at 7-6, 9-8 and 10-9.

The Spaniard followed up a backhand passing victor with another victor from the forehand to earn two break points, and then drew the error on the second to snatch the first set in the blink of an eye.

"That was definitely the key to the match", Cecchinato said.

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