Baez vs. Tseng in French Open boys' final

Baez vs. Tseng in French Open boys' final

Nadal crushed Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets in Friday's semi-final to book a place against Austrian hot prospect Dominic Thiem in Sunday's showpiece.

Seventh seed Thiem, who will be playing in his first grand slam final, is regarded as second only to Nadal on clay - albeit probably quite a distant second.

Argentine Del Potro often had Nadal in trouble in a ferocious first set but paid heavily for failing to convert any of the six break points that came his way at 1-1 and 4-4.

That he trailed by a set and a break before rain delays allowed him to change tactics and recover to get there?

Del Potro, playing in the semi-finals for the first time since losing to Roger Federer in 2009, was 0-40 ahead on Nadal's serve at 1-1 but could not press home the break and worryingly appeared to hurt his hip at deuce in that game.

"It is nearly impossible to beat Rafa", said Del Potro, who had his chances in the semi-final, but failed to convert any of his seven break points before his challenge petered out into tired hopelessness.

The winners of the men's and women's singles finals this weekend will both take home a tournament record €2.2m (£1.9m/$3.1m) for triumphing on the clay at Roland Garros.

Across the way at Court Suzanne Lenglen, No. 5 del Potro got distracted by a spectator right before a key double-fault, then marched over toward the stands to try to figure out who it was.

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"True, I understand that everybody here, you have to write things", he said.

The delay enabled Nadal to regroup and he turned the deficit into a 5-3 lead before a second stoppage ended play for the day.

Stream every match at Roland Garros live on the FOX+ app and catch up on highlights of any action you've missed. "I know he's a great player".

He probably felt as though he had been, as Nadal completed a devastating 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory.

'Still, I know how to play against him.

He has a season-leading 35 wins having played 13 tournaments in 2018.

"Today, all day, on the Philippe Chatrier court, the fans said "Forza, Marco", so I think this is the best moment for me", said Cecchinato after the match. In the other semi-final, Marco Cecchinato's odd run in the last two weeks was ended by Dominic Thiem, also in straight sets, although the first two sets were somewhat closer than anything Del Potro could muster. I'm going to play Wimbledon, of course, and then I will have to analyse the situation afterwards, when I will be ready to play. Nadal is 56-8 in final appearances on clay in her career and has won nine of his last 10 final appearances overall. I have been on court just couple of minutes ago.

'My feeling is on Sunday I have a very hard match against a player that is playing great, ' Nadal said after beating Del Potro. And I spoke to Dominic on Friday, and he made it clear to me that best-of-five at Roland Garros is so very different from best-of-three in Madrid. "But I'm also aware that here it's tougher", said Thiem, the first Austrian in a major final since Thomas Muster won in Paris in 1995. He is 10-0 in French Open finals and 77-0 at the tournament overall when he wins the first set, so getting a jump on him early - a tactic far easier to write about than to execute - would seem to be a fairly obvious strategy. "I don't want anyone to think that it's a routine".

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