Ruthless Nadal crushes Del Potro to reach final

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after winning the final against Austria's Dominic Thiem

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after winning the final against Austria's Dominic Thiem

Rafa will now face the victor between Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro. hen he will either face Marco Cecchinato or Dominic Thiem in the final.

"Second mistake, in the first set, he's holding very easily and what does he do on the break points?"

Nadal, who had won 37 completed sets at Roland Garros before losing the first on Wednesday, was back to his old merciless self on Thursday as he belted 26 winners in the last two sets - compared to the eight he had produced during the opening two. The Argentine dropped the second set against the Croat but came back strong to take the match 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.

Nadal becomes the second player in tennis history to win 11 singles titles at any Grand Slam tournament after Margaret Court, who claimed 11 Australian Open titles. "Sometimes it's helping a lot if you are big, because you can serve fast, you can do everything fast on the baseline because you have more, the arms are bigger than me. But in terms of play, what changed is how I played and how I managed the match".

Nadal said of his cramp: "I was very, very scared".

"If I lost that tie-break it would have been a very close match and I didn't want that". After guzzling water during that break, Nadal felt better and was back to playing his unmistakable brand of almost unbeatable clay-court tennis.

Rafael Nadal (ESP) celebrates match point during his match against Juan Martin Del Potro (ARG) on day 13 of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros. The French Open, like all Grand Slam tournaments, is best-of-five for men.

Nadal is looking as comfortable as ever on the Philippe Chatrier court where has previously won the title 10 times.

"I played already days in a row here in the past. I really believe that I am enough fit and ready to hold", Nadal said. And I have to play aggressively.

Up in the stands, Nadal's uncle Toni, his former coach, was nervous, too, "because I thought maybe we can have a problem", he said.

Although at times during the first set against Del Potro, especially when he was 0-40 down at 1-1 and 15-40 down at 4-4 it looked as though he might be in for a real scrap. After serving a fault, Nadal took the unusual step of heading to the sideline in the middle of a game.

"It's tough to speak now, " the del Potro said.

"It has been a long time without good feelings on my body. I was close to (quitting)".

He was near-flawless against Juan Martin del Potro in the last four. I love the competition.

Rafael Nadal is into yet another French Open final. Nadal's astonishing French Open record now reads: Won 85, lost two.

Ominously for Thiem, Nadal said: "My feeling is I have a very hard match against a player that is playing great".

Halep is guaranteed to remain the world No. 1 after the tournament.

Both teams are through to the final at Roland Garros for the first time after securing uspet wins on Court Suzanne Lenglen. These are unique moments, and many players would like to have this opportunity.

"But after the loss, I go a little bit down with mental, and physically I play so many matches, so I think is normal".

Schwartzman held serve to open the fourth se and Nadal held with an overhead smash to level one game apiece.

Schwartzman had a point to lead 4-2 but a forehand error allowed Nadal off the hook.

Halep next faces third-seeded Garbine Muguruza.

Canada's Gabriela Dabrowski and Croatia's Mate Pavic lost their mixed doubles final at the French Open on Thursday.

Stephens hasn't dropped a set since.

Pavic and Dabrowski were the top seed in Paris, while Chan and Dodig were seeded second.

But while the Swiss has succumbed in three title matches in southwest London, Nadal has never tasted defeat in a final in southwest Paris, as Bresnik - and the rest of the tennis world - knows.

Latest News