Rafael Nadal beats Del Petro in French Open

Rafael Nadal beats Del Petro in French Open

"For me, the motivation to play here always is high, high as possible", said Nadal after breezing past Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 in Friday's semi-finals in what was his 85th win in Paris against just two defeats.

"Del Potro has achieved great victories this year", said Nadal who dropped his first set at Roland Garros in three years in his quarter-final victory over Diego Schwartzman.

The duo have met nine times throughout their career, all on clay, with Nadal taking six meetings to Thiem's three.

Del Potro needed only two points to pocket the first set as Cilic blinked first, netting a routine forehand a 5-6.

"If Thiem can do that and build enough hope in the first hour, hour and a half, maybe get the first set he can make it physical like he did in Madrid".

"You can win a set, but not a match against Rafa", said Del Potro keen not to over-egg any hint of weakness in Nadal's game.

Del Potro pulled up with a hip complaint as he trailed 2-1 in the first set against Nadal, but despite clear discomfort, he fought on and made it a dogged affair until surrendering a break that gave the world No. 1 an advantage.

Both teams are through to the final at Roland Garros for the first time after securing uspet wins on Court Suzanne Lenglen. 'I can't give him the game. "I was so nervous before the match because I knew it would be a tough match".

"I think it helps, definitely, knowing that you were the last guy to beat him", said Bresnik, whose association with Thiem spans more than 15 years.

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In the women's draw, world No. 1 Simona Halep is through to her fourth Grand Slam final after she overpowered Spain's Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 6-4, in their semi-final clash in Paris.

"To play a full consistent schedule is my aim - I was struggling with this before".

"When you look at it on paper, you say if it wasn't the final of the French Open and wasn't on that centre court, then you'd say he has a real chance". They came from non-ATP level matches, which is where the vast majority of tennis' corruption takes place, but corrupt behavior at the lower levels becomes a problem when those players graduate to the big time. "I lost a lot of opportunities for injuries, and I know the years are going quick (smiling)".

Nadal added Wimbledon crowns in 2008 and 2010, an Australian Open title in 2009 and completed the career Grand Slam in 2010 by defeating Djokovic in the US Open final, becoming the youngest in the Open era (since 1967) to complete the four-event career sweep. "I'm facing Rafa, I'm not the one who has the pressure".

"Unfortunately, I was not able to convert my break points". Thiem battled to a 7-5 7-6 and then walloped a clearly dejected Cecchinato 6-1 in the third to qualify for the final after making the semi-final on three consecutive occasions.

"It was a good second and third set for me, of course, and a good hold in the first", Nadal said afterward. The win takes him to his 11th French Open final. "I don't want anyone to think that it's a routine".

"Not a very nice feeling", Thiem said.

He'll need to be at his absolute best if he's to overcome Nadal on Sunday, and sustaining that level for three or more sets will be hard.

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