Refreshed Rafael Nadal surges into French Open semifinals

ImageThe two men’s quarterfinals scheduled for Wednesday were suspended because

Argentine giant Del Potro was expected to push Nadal to the limit in Friday's semi-final but slumped to a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 defeat with the world number one reeling off 14 of the last 17 games.

"Four years ago, I didn't know if I would be back in a final", Nadal told reporters.

However, Nadal has won both their clashes at Roland Garros - in 2014 and in last year's semi-finals by a comfortable 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 margin.

Across the last 12 months on clay, Nadal has held serve 88.7% to Thiem's 85.7% (3.0% edge) while breaking opponents 50.0% to 30.1% (19.9% edge), and this incredible advantage he has on return was a big factor in me pricing Nadal as a [1.17] favourite to lift the trophy today.

"Dominic Thiem beat me in Madrid this year and played with big power". I have to play my best. 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.

Rafael Nadal is into yet another French Open final. "I just enjoy the fact that I am here again".

Nadal broke in the lone game he had an opportunity to wrap up the set. It is his best result at Roland Garros since 2009 when he also made the semi-finals losing to Roger Federer in five sets. The Austrian has already won two titles (Lyon and Buenos Aires) this season and had also reached the final of Madrid Open last month.

"If Thiem can do that and build enough hope in the first hour, hour and a half, maybe get the first set he can make it physical like he did in Madrid". The two first played each other in an ITF final in Modena, Italy in 2013 with Cecchinato winning.

She says the Austrian must come out and "shock" Nadal to give himself a chance of victory.

"Rafa is playing every point better from the beginning until the last point of the match, and his intensity grows during the match", explained Del Potro.

Rafael Nadal admits that his desire to clinch an 11th French Open title on Sunday is fired by his growing realisation that the end of his career may not be too far away.

This historical analysis doesn't lend itself to fancying Thiem's chances of denying Nadal an 11th French Open title this afternoon, and neither did my model pricing either.

He appeared to be in near peak form against del Potro - once the all important first set went in his favor.

Nadal's remarkable record at the French Open has led seven-time Grand Slam singles champion John McEnroe to claim beating the Spaniard in Paris is the toughest task in sport.

Cecchinato, who was banned for match-fixing in 2016, had never won a match in the French Open prior to this year's edition.

Thiem had to weather three set points for Cecchinato, at 7-6, 9-8 and 10-9.

When Thiem's set point No 4 and 5 were saved with a botched volley and a brilliant drop volley respectively, it looked like the tide might just change in the tiebreak as it had against Djokovic. Thiem got to 10-all with a drop shot of his own.

"That was definitely the key to the match", Cecchinato said.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump says Russian Federation should be at G7 meeting, Moscow not so sure
Jun 10, 2018 - 16:58
Russian Federation was expelled from what was then called the G8 in 2014 because of its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine . President Barack Obama's landmark 2015 nuclear accord with Iran over the objections of European allies and other nations.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Supreme Court rejects attempt to liberalise Northern Ireland abortion law
Jun 10, 2018 - 16:20
Abortion is illegal except where a woman's life is at risk or there is a permanent or serious danger to her mental or physical health.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on World Environment Day
Jun 10, 2018 - 16:14
Half of all the plastic we produce is single-use or disposable. Plastic in oceans is likely to outweigh fishes by 2050. India is hosting the global celebrations this year.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Jennifer Lawrence reportedly dating a NY art gallerist
Jun 10, 2018 - 16:12
According to the New York Post's Page Six column, the 27-year-old has been keeping her new romance under wraps. For the most part, yeah, I have a theory: "I think it's because I'm blunt", she said earlier this year.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top [Newsmaker] White House official: N. Korea's denuclearization will be 'process'
Jun 10, 2018 - 15:58
The UN's nuclear watchdog the IAEA has said it's ready to resume its nuclear verification activities in North Korea. It comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow hopes a summit between the two helps defuse tensions.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Stylish sisters Eugenie and Beatrice steal the show at Queen's birthday
Jun 10, 2018 - 15:02
Prince Philip has rarely celebrated his birthday and, in his working years, often used to turn out for engagements as normal. The royal pair will open a theatre and science discovery centre after journeying overnight from London on Wednesday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Cristiano Ronaldo's desire to leave Real Madrid is "irreversible", say reports
Jun 10, 2018 - 15:00
Spanish League giants Real Madrid are now said to be ready to do their level best to sign the Brazilian football star. And Real Madrid's doors are always open for Neymar .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top A look back on Kate Spade's 199740 under 40 honor
Jun 08, 2018 - 17:23
The husband-and-wife duo parted ways with their successful company in 2007, after selling to Liz Claiborne Inc. As you've no doubt heard by now, Kate Spade took her own life in her New York City apartment on Tuesday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump, Macron trade shots before G7 summit
Jun 08, 2018 - 17:15
Trump is set to hold the first meeting between a sitting USA president and North Korean leader on June 12. The tensions have been particularly evident between and Trudeau and Trump.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Golden Knights betting favorites for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final
Jun 08, 2018 - 16:58
Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is expecting a massive celebration following the first Stanley Cup win in franchise history. Vegas is 7-3 in its last 10 home games as moneyline favorite of -135 to -200, according to the OddsShark NHL Database .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ronaldo and Neymar could play for Madrid together - Marcelo
Jun 08, 2018 - 16:45
Marcelo was also adamant that Neymar's potential arrival need not spell the end for Cristiano Ronaldo . Ronaldo posted a photograph on Twitter with Portugal's possible starting XI and the message: "Ready".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Manchester United agree deal to sign Brazil midfielder Fred
Jun 07, 2018 - 17:30
Midfielder Fred also got his black barnet newly coiffured and shaped, with a special gel added that made his spiky curls glitter. However, he is far more of a creator than goalscorer as his record of just 15 goals in five years at Shakhtar suggests.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Apple throws wrench in Facebooks data-gathering with tweaks in Safari
Jun 07, 2018 - 17:16
Apparently, despite changes to Facebook's privacy policies over the years, many smartphone makers continue to have unrestricted access to personal data of users.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Jared Leto reportedly to star in standalone Joker film
Jun 07, 2018 - 16:58
It's currently unknown when this film would go into production, as Leto and the studio will now search for a writer. According to reports , Warner Brothers and DC Films are looking to delve into their characters from prior films.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Alexander Zverev ends Grand Slam hoodoo against top-50 players
Jun 05, 2018 - 03:35
World number 38 Khachanov accelerated away with the third set, earning a double break after Zverev missed a chance to hit back. The 24-year-old Thiem leads 4-2 overall against Zverev, but lost to him last month in the Madrid Masters final.