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Del Potro directs frustration at Paris spectator

Del Potro directs frustration at Paris spectator

Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro said that he will have "nothing to lose" in his French Open semi-final clash with Rafael Nadal on Friday, after not even knowing whether he would play in the days before the tournament.

Under pressure at the outset, Rafael Nadal already had cast aside three break points in his French Open semifinal's third game when, at 4-all, Juan Martin del Potro held another three. After holding there, Nadal broke del Potro to take that set and was on his way, taking 14 of the last 17 games.

The seventh-seeded Austrian ended Nadal's record-breaking run of 50 successive sets won on clay at the Madrid Open earlier this season, while he also saw off the Spaniard in last year's Internazionali d'Italia. I know I have to play my best tennis to have a chance on Sunday.

Brandon: After a shaky start, Nadal bounced back and put on a clinical display to dispatch of Schwartzman.

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

"He's a big favourite against everybody", Thiem said.

Here's 2018, a futuristic time when Nadal began, and here's del Potro making observations of Nadal such as, "Intensity is too high the whole match", and, "He looks fresh", and - good grief - "He's improving his backhand a lot". The 32-year-old is just 6-3 against Thiem in his career, and all three of those losses have come on clay.

In truth, however, I'd be mightily surprised if Thiem lost this match. Stephens won last year's US Open; Halep is 0-3 in major finals.

Thiem overcame Marco Cecchinato 7-5 7-6 6-1 in Friday's semi-final to hand himself the ominous task of preventing clay court specialist and world number one Nadal from lifting an 11th title at Roland Garros.

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"He is, for me, the best competitor I ever saw in any sport, and I watch sport a lot for many, many years, " said Gunter Bresnik, Thiem's 57-year-old coach.

After discussing his aspirations with an incredible 11th Roland Garros title now in sight, Rafa - a fervent Real Madrid fan - concluded, "I'm glad Cristiano is 23". "And I have been trying and trying every day to fix my problem in my wrist", Del Potro said.

Clay court supremo Nadal and 10-time French Open champion Nadal admitted to bout of nerves during his hard=fought quarter-final win over Argentinian underdog Diego Schwartzman. "His game is too good for me".

It was a different story on Thursday as Nadal won 12 of the first 13 points before cruising into the last four.

"Sometimes he gets fired up but has this calm about him that I think worries Nadal and Federer".

Cecchinato's career has been tainted by his involvement in a match-fixing scandal; he was banned for 18 months in 2016 before having the suspension overturned.

"I was playing poorly, and my opponent was playing better".

The biggest key was the second-set tiebreak, as Thiem outlasted Cecchinato 12-10 to take a 2-0 lead in sets before steamrolling the unheralded Italian in the third.

After failing to convert four of his previous set point opportunities, he finally seized the fifth. Thiem got to 10-all with a drop shot of his own.


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