French Open 2018: Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem Reach Final

By John Carlo A. Villaruel
on Jun 09, 2018 09:37 AM EDT
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Multi-titled netter Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem battle in the 2018 French Open finals this Sunday, June 10, 2018, at the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, France.

The 32-year-old Nadal made his way into the finals with a 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory over fifth-ranked Juan Martin del Potro. His victory over Del Potro also marked Nadal's 11th consecutive semifinals victory in the French Open.

Nadal who is now close to the twilight of his career is hoping that he could pull off another championship victory later this weekend. The Spanish racquet-wielder currently has 10 French Open titles after winning the annual competition in 2005-2008, 2010-2014, and 2017.

Additionally, Nadal's 10 championships in the French Open is also the most by any player. Closing in on Nadal are Bjorn Borg with six, Henry Cochet with four, and Gustavo Kuerten, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, and Rene Lacoste with three titles apiece.

"For me, the motivation to play here always is high, high as possible. I have lost a lot of opportunities through injuries, and I know the years are going quick. So there is not 10 more chances to keep playing here," Nadal said following his victory against Del Potro.

Nadal who turned professional in 2001 has an impressive career record of 896 wins and 187 losses. He has also won 78 singles titles and 11 doubles crowns. Overall, Nadal has pocketed more than $98 million in prize money in his illustrious career.

Just this year alone, the Manacor, Mallorca, Spain native sports a remarkable card of 23 victories and two defeats. Nadal has also won three singles trophies this year.

Secret Game Plan

The 24-year-old Thiem, on the other hand, admitted that the pressure to play against Nadal is extremely high but he is hoping that his plan will pay golden dividends in the finals. Nadal is 49-0 at the Roland Garros in the past two years.

"He likes the conditions more here than in Madrid, for sure. Best of five is also a different story. But I have a plan," Thiem said.

Thiem punched a finals slot after beating Italian Marco Cecchinato via thrilling fashion 7-5, 7-6 (12-10), 6-1 in the semifinals. The right-handed Austrian just turned pro in 2011 but already has 10 singles titles to his name.

Meanwhile, in the women's finals top-ranked Simona Halep of Romania will do battle against American and 2017 US Open winner Sloane Stephens. The women's final is scheduled this Saturday.

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