Monday, 24 September, 2018

Eurosport experts on Nadal v Thiem: Who's going to win?

Rafael Nadal Nadal could equal Margaret Court's record of 11 titles at one Grand Slam
Sidney Guerrero | 10 June, 2018, 20:10

There is not much more daunting of a task than doing so against Nadal at the French Open, where he is now 11-0 in finals and 86-2 overall.

Rafael Nadal needed less than a set to take command of the French Open final, and he overcame a late problem with his racket-holding hand to earn a record-extending 11th championship at Roland Garros by beating Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday. In the other semi-final, Marco Cecchinato's unusual 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. Since then, the Spaniard has been imperious.

A left hand cramp in the third and final set proved to be no real obstacle for Nadal, the Spaniard showing he was approaching his best form ahead of the grass court season.

After Thiem served, the trainer reappeared and massaged Nadal's forearm and wrist.

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Sunday's win was Nadal's 17th major trophy, only putting him three behind Roger Federer. Thiem also defeated his rival in Buenos Aires in 2016, joining Novak Djokovic and Gaston Gaudio as the only men to have beaten Nadal three times on clay.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. After Nadal held there for 5-4, Thiem basically handed over the next game - and the set - by making four mistakes in a row.

Thiem broke back immediately as he continued to go for his shots, and he saw off a break point to hold for 2-2. That led to 34 winners (eight more than Nadal), but also 42 unforced errors (18 more than Nadal). After guzzling water during his visit from the doctor, Nadal was back to playing his unmistakable brand of almost unbeatable clay-court tennis.

There seemed a sense of inevitability about the contest when Nadal consolidated his lead by taking advantage in the Austrian's first service game of the second set with his fifth break-point opportunity.

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