Cecchinato vows to prove French semi-final was no fluke

Doug Mendoza
June 13, 2018

He has already won titles in Rome, Barcelona, and Madrid while the only loss came in the quarter-final of Madrid Open against fellow French Open semi-finalist, Dominic Thiem. Cecchinato, who upset Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals after winning two pulsating tiebreaks, rallied and even held three set points prior to Thiem triumphing 12-10.

In the second set, Schwartzman won the fifth game and led 3-2 when play was first halted.

Thiem's fighting spirit was evident in abundance - he continued to put pressure on Nadal through his return game, while consistently scrapping to stave off perilous positions on his own serve - but ultimately the Spaniard's quality and, often, his sheer force of will, won the day.

Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal on Friday outclassed Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro to storm into his record 11th final of the French Open with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win in the men's semi-final clash.

That was swatted away with Nadal's double-handed backhand, though, and the second set duly went the way of the favourite.

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.

Del Potro insisted his hip had not troubled him during the match, instead putting the defeat down to one simple fact: "His game is too good for me".

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

Nadal, a 16-time Grand Slam champion, claimed his 85th win here against just two losses after weathering a big-hitting opening from 2009 US Open victor Del Potro to win 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.

"Everybody knows that I was close to quitting this sport two years ago, but then I, for one reason, I never give up", said Del Potro.

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"I was in the same seat", he said after watching Nadal beat Dominic Thiem in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

Rafael Nadal held serve in the opening game against Juan Martin del Potro in their French Open semifinal.

By then, Nadal was finding his spots. The French Open, like all Grand Slam tournaments, is best-of-five for men.

After breaking Nadal's serve to take the ninth game, Schwartzman hit a forehand victor at 40-30 to take the first set 6-4. He has won every final he has reached, and in those 11 finals he has dropped just six sets. "Today was unbelievable for me, with all of Philippe-Chatrier Court full".

Nadal acknowledged that Thiem has been a "very complex" opponent.

Del Potro had required the doctor early in the first set after appearing to jar his ankle in the red clay.He suffered a worrying power cut in the second set, slipping to 5-0 down on a double break, wasting his seventh break point out of seven on the way.

The Argentine has never beaten Nadal on clay.

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

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

Other reports by GizPress

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