Rafael Nadal into French Open finals against Dominic Thiem

Rafael Nadal into French Open finals against Dominic Thiem

Rafael Nadal into French Open finals against Dominic Thiem

"He is physically strong and you know he's not going to give up at any score".

He didn't stop there, such was his extended praise for the recently turned 32-year-old.

Nadal is 49-0 in all other clay-court contests over the past two seasons.

Ten-time champion Rafael Nadal reached his 11th French Open final on Friday when he demolished Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets on Friday‚ setting up a title showdown with Dominic Thiem‚ the only man to defeat him on clay in the last two years.

Throw in three titles at the U.S. Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the Australian Open, and Nadal is up to 17 majors, second among men only to Roger Federer's 20.

Yet Bresnik obviously isn't throwing in the towel.

As for Thiem, the 24-year-old is in his first Grand Slam final.

If there were any reason for a bit of intrigue entering Sunday, it was this: Thiem beat Nadal on red clay at Rome in May 2017 and again at Madrid last month.

Nadal dominated the Argentine in three sets, beating him 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 in the clay court bout.

"Second thing, if you don't feel the pressure, it's because you don't love the sport", said Nadal, who has never failed to win the title in Paris after reaching the semi-finals. And best of five sets is also a different story.

"He's a big favorite against everybody", he told reporters. I have a plan.

France Tennis French Open
Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro reacts after booking his place in the semi-finals

"It's impossible without hard work and going through tough moments". "When (Thiem) is dominating the point, he is very unsafe".

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 unsafe opponent. "He has the power".

Del Potro saved one but a backhand error handed Nadal the set and he never took a backward glance after that.

The seventh seed lost to Nadal at the semi-final stage in the French capital past year however and will be in uncharted territory when he plays the defending champion. Or at least not a blowout.

Nadal won the first set 6-4. 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, but said afterward it was not a big deal.

"I couldn't play my best because of him", said del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion.

"Del Potro has achieved great victories this year".

And on the penultimate point of the semifinal, after being run ragged, the 2009 US Open victor could only offer up a smile.

Rafael Nadal briefly interrupted the French Open final against Dominic Thiem in the third set with an apparent problem with his left wrist. He impressively recovered from a slow start to make the first set close.

Thiem improved on serve during the second set, facing zero break points, but he was not able to seize on any of the three break points as the set went to the tie break.

The No. 6-seeded pairing from the Czech Republic beat Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya of Japan 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday.

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