Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem, French Open 2018 men's final
10 June, 2018, 22:39 | Author: Tommie Newton
A well-disguised drop shot served him well at 30-40 down in game three but in opting for power soon afterwards he netted a forehand, affording Nadal another break chance that was gobbled up.
Since they exchanged breaks of serve in the second and third games, both have held serve, with Nadal now ahead 5-4, with Thiem serving next. He removed the tape from his left wrist and seemed to take a tablet.
Still, Nadal was able to complete the job on court Philippe-Chatrier.
The world number eight is also one of just three men to have defeated the 17-time Grand Slam champion three times on his favoured surface in total, but he had no answer to the 32-year-old's relentless pressure on Sunday. Nadal's "La Decima" was his 10th French Open, and he managed it without dropping a set throughout the tournament.
Nadal has been the best clay court player in the world for over a decade, but Thiem is one of the top young talents in tennis. "Best of five is also different story". Thiem, who is the only man to beat Nadal on clay over the past two seasons, appeared for his first Grand Slam final. Nadal on clay never is.
He has come close in Paris before, losing in the semifinals previous year (to Nadal) and in 2016 (to Novak Djokovic). He lost the first set, then turned things around after a rain delay.
He reeled off the first six points for a 2-0 lead before Thiem settled and repaired the damage for 2-2. Well done, I'm sure you will win here in the next few years'.
Nadal bids for 11th French Open title, facing Thiem in final
Nadal was up 2-1 at that point.
That was swatted away with Nadal's double-handed backhand, though, and the second set duly went the way of the favourite.
The much-awaited face-off between Nadal and Thiem is scheduled to start at 6.30pm IST on Sunday.
His lone opportunity of the set indeed vanished.
Despite the loss, the 24-year-old Austrian said it had been a "great two weeks" for him. Another forehand victor from Nadal followed, and this time Thiem looked up toward his coach and yelled. He removed the tape from his left wrist - the Mallorcan suffered a wrist injury that ruled him out in the first week of the 2016 edition - and the trainer came out again at 3-2.
And in 2012, he surpassed Borg's record to become the most successful player in French Open history with his seventh crown.
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