Nadal beats del Potro to reach 11th French final

Roland Garros day 11 recap will the rain save Rafael Nadal

He saved three break points in his first service game but a wayward backhand ensured Nadal took the fourth.

The battle wore on and on, before, on the Austrian's fifth set point, Cecchinato went long to fall two sets behind.

Nadal is bidding to become only the second player to win 11 titles at any Grand Slam tournament after Margaret Court, who won the Australian women's singles title 11 times.

Cecchinato, who up until this year's Roland Garros never got past the first round of a Grand Slam event, did not look the same in the third set, as he hit just one victor, committing eight unforced errors.

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.

Nadal now leads 2-0 in the second set, having won the first set 6-4. "Good tactics and mentality in the first set".

Rafael Nadal looks to win back-to-back French Opens for the eighth time in his career after beating Juan Martin del Porto Friday in the semifinals at Roland Garros.

Nadal is now just the second man to reach 11 finals at the same Slam‚ equalling Roger Federer's mark at Wimbledon. "So I need more work for go top 10 or top 20, so these matches was very important for me". In the title match, she will face Sloane Stephens, who prevailed over Madison Keys, 6-2; 6-4 in 56 minutes in an all-American contest.

"Today, all day, on Philippe Chatrier, the fans said "Forza, Marco", so I think this is the best moment for me", said Cecchinato."Against Dominic Thiem, he is top 10, and today all the people were for me".

"When asked why he still felt stress before resuming on Thursday despite all of his past achievements, Nadal said: "(Because) I am a human person.

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The 24-year-old Austrian, playing his first Grand Slam final, made 18 unforced errors in losing the first set, and hit 11 clean winners.

Del Potro is set to play next Spain's Rafael Nadal, who beat Argentina's Diego Schwartzman 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.

What is definitely true: Thiem has never been to a Grand Slam final until now.

Robin Soderling, who famously inflicted Nadal's first defeat at the French Open in 2009, insists Thiem has to take the initiative from the start.

Once Nadal stole the opener with a break in the 10th game, it was one-way traffic. Thiem withstood a barrage of break points to hold in a marathon sixth game, which he thought he had won at 40-30 when he left a wide ball, only for the umpire to overrule the line judge.

The Argentine has never beaten Nadal on clay.

On the other hand, del Potro also was involved in a rain-marred quarter-final against third seed Marin Cilic over the last two days.

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

"That", del Potro would say later, "was my chance".

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