Rafael Nadal reaches 11th French Open final, will face Dominic Thiem

Rafael Nadal reaches 11th French Open final, will face Dominic Thiem

Plenty have gone in with sound tactical plans against the 16-times Grand Slam champion in Paris but when the forehand bombardment begins, the best-laid plans usually fall apart as was the case in Friday's semi-final when Nadal thrashed Juan Martin del Potro who many thought posed a credible threat.

Thiem beat Nadal in Madrid Open in May and has been the second best player during the clay season.

"You know when you start the clay-court season that Dominic, he's one of these players that have the chance to win every tournament that he's playing", Nadal said, "and maybe even (more so) here in Roland Garros, because he's strong physically".

It was a first Grand Slam final for the Austrian.

Nadal has not lost at Roland Garros when taking the first set and that record did not look like coming under threat as he continually rebuffed Thiem's attempts to make inroads into his serve, taking the second courtesy of an early break.

Nadal raced away with 14 of the last 17 games.

Rafael Nadal is into yet another French Open final.

"The second set tie-break was the big key to the match, 100 per cent, because obviously he felt all the matches from the past two weeks after that", said Thiem, according to ATP's website.

Watch the final of the French Open LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

"For sure", said Thiem's coach, Gunter Bresnik, "this gives you a little hope".

Once Nadal stole the opener with a break in the 10th game, it was one-way traffic.

Dominic Thiem of Austria volleys during the men's singles semi-final match against Marco Cecchinato of Italy.

Nadal has a 9-5 head-to-head record against del Potro.

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Rafael Nadal lifted the French Open trophy for an 11th time Sunday - and this time without the guidance of Uncle Toni.

"It was a very hard first set and Juan Martin had lots of opportunities".

Nadal said the 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory in 2 hours, 42 minutes was his best match of the tournament.

But while the Swiss has succumbed in three title matches in southwest London, Nadal has never tasted defeat in a final in southwest Paris, as Bresnik - and the rest of the tennis world - knows. Nadal did not register a first serve in this segment of the match and he double-faulted in opening the fourth game.

Just 45 percent of Thiem's first serves went in, compared to Nadal's 65 percent.

Del Potro often had Nadal in trouble in a ferocious first set but paid heavily for failing to convert any of the six break points that came his way.

Nadal is looking as comfortable as ever on the Philippe Chatrier court where has previously won the title 10 times.

Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic have won the French Open for their first Grand Slam title in women's doubles.

Thiem led 6-3 but suddenly lost focus.

The statistics illustrate Nadal's concerns - he has missed at least eight Slam tournaments in his career through a legacy of wrist and knee problems. At No. 72, he is the lowest-ranked French Open semifinalist since 1999.

Nadal is now just the second man to reach 11 finals at the same Slam‚ equalling Roger Federer's mark at Wimbledon.

Del Potro, the US Open victor in 2009, is playing the tournament for only the second time since 2012 after a spate of injuries.

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