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Dominic Thiem ends Cecchinato fairytale to reach French Open final
09 June 2018, 08:46 | Myron Mathis
GETTYRafael Nadal is rumoured to be struggling with a stomach injury
After dealing with some tight moments early, Nadal overwhelmed 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 the rest of the way today.
While Thiem faces an nearly impossible task on Sunday, Nadal was taking nothing for granted against the man who beat him in Madrid.
The fifth seed, who stunned Roger Federer to win the 2009 US Open at the age of 20, said he never imagined that the likes of the 20-time Grand Slam champion and Nadal would still be standing in his path at major tournaments nearly a decade later.
Croatian Cilic played an very bad game when serving for the set, making four unforced errors, but he was gifted another chance to serve for the set after breaking Del Potro again and at the second time of asking he levelled the match. That said, Nadal is on clay and picking against him to lose on this surface at the French Open seems like a foolish move. I have to play my best.
"He's playing with big confidence, winning the Lyon Open before Roland Garros and playing some great matches here". "Of course, the rain helped stop the match and helped me think about the match, and that's a reality". They think, what's he up to?
The match had already been stopped for an hour on Wednesday, with Nadal trailing 6-4 2-1, before play resumed at 17:28 BST. Both played superbly - and both had chances to end it.
"It's been a long time without a good feeling with my body", an emotional Del Potro said in an on-court interview. "I can say a lot of things, but the easiest answer and the real answer is to play well".
Ruthless Rafael Nadal punished Juan Martin del Potro for missed opportunities as he reached his 11th French Open final with a 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory on Friday.
While Thiem is a heavy favourite, Cecchinato, 25, will be completely unafraid, Wilander believes.
However, he has fought back and reached his first semi-final at Roland Garros since 2009.
But first he must step into the unknown. "I couldn't make it", del Potro said.
The Italian, who had never won a Grand Slam match before the tournament, faces seventh seed Thiem in the last four. But he is becoming tactically more correct and five sets will suit him.
"He's an wonderful player", Nadal said. "The pressure is 95 percent on him".
It was the 24-year-old Austrian's third consecutive appearance in the final four at Roland Garros, after losses to eventual champions Djokovic in 2016 and Nadal in 2017. I felt that I was playing a little bit under more stress than usual, and he was able to take control of the point too many times.
In brighter and quicker conditions than those of Wednesday, Nadal's experience told as he came out more aggressively and swept away his 5' 7' opponent, who had made such a gallant run to the last eight.
The first set always looked key and Del Potro clinched the opener as Cilic blinked first, netting a routine forehand on the second point of the second installment of the match.
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