Nadal Dominates Del Potro, Will Meet Thiem For French Open Title
by Sean Randall | June 8th, 2018, 5:24 pm

On a very one-sided semifinal Friday at the French Open, both favorites rolled to victory setting up Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem title match on Sunday.

Under comfortable blue skies, Thiem opened the afternoon up against the surprise semifinalist Marco Cecchinato who had stunned Novak Djokovic on Tuesday. In this first tour meeting, Thiem jumped out early in the first two sets, and while the Italian fought back each time, the World No. 8 was just too tough, had too much variety and experience to win it 7-5, 7-6(10), 6-1.

After two semifinal runs the last two years, Thiem is finally into his first Grand Slam final.

“The second set tie-break was the big key to the match, 100 percent, because obviously he felt all the matches from the past two weeks after that,” said Thiem. “If he would have won the tie-break, he would [have been] full power, for sure, in the third set. So it was good for me that I won it… I expect that he will be a really good player on clay. You don’t get to a Grand Slam semi-final by accident. He beat really good players.”

Cecchinato did have chances in that second set breaker, but could force the issue in the end, then all but got steamrolled in the third. Still, the 25-year-old will move from No. 72 in the world up to the Top 30 and earn a seeding at Wimbledon. Not bad for a guy who had never won a Grand Slam match two weeks ago.

“It was a special tournament for me. I played two sets at the same level [as Djokovic] against Dominic Thiem,” Checcinato said. “[MMy] level is very good at the moment [and] I am very, very happy. If I had won the second set, I think it would have been totally different the third set. But after the loss, I go a little bit down mentally and physically… Today was unbelievable for me, with all of Philippe Chatrier Court full.”

Up next was the King of Clay, Rafa Nadal against Juan Martin del Potro in a rematch of their US Open semifinal which went the way of the Spaniard. So too did this one as del Potro mounted a fierce first 30 minutes or so then faded away losing 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.

Del Potro actually have several break chances in the first with 0-30 and 0-40 leads on Rafa’s serve, but ended the set 0-for-7. And the Argentine appeared to tweak his hip area early in the match, but thankfully it wasn’t as serious as it first appeared.

Nadal got the break at 4-all in the first, and with del Potro having spent over 2-and-a-half hours on court yesterday in a win over Marin Cilic, he was cooked. Nadal won his 16th straight Grand Slam semifinal, and he’s now an incredible 24-3 at this stage in Slams.

“It was a good second and third set for me, of course, and a good hold in the first. [I had] good tactics and [a good] mentality in the first set,” Nadal said. “That gave me the possibility to play much better later on the match.”

Del Potro rued missing those early opportunities.

“Rafa served well, played good points on those break points, and I got unlucky in that moment,” del Potro said. “It could have been a different match if I won the first set. But then he made me run a lot. [The] intensity was too high the whole match, and I couldn’t stay there after the first set. He deserved to win. He played much better from the beginning until the end.

“I did a beautiful tournament, better than expected,” he added. “Losing against Rafa on his best surface, his best court, I’m quite relaxed about that.”

So on Sunday, in Thiem, Nadal will meet the only man who has beaten him on clay since the start of last year. It will be their 10th meeting with all 10 on clay and Nadal holding the 6-3 edge including a semifinal rout last year at the French.

Nadal has never lost in the semifinals or the final in Paris. And he’s won 15 straight matches at the event with an overall record of 85-2.

“You know when you start the clay court season that Dominic, he’s one of these players that have the chance to win every tournament that he’s playing,” said Nadal. “And maybe even more here in Roland Garros because he’s strong physically. He has the power.

“He’s been a very complex opponent. He’s in the final, and he had a tough draw.”

Said Thiem, “My feeling is on Sunday I have a very difficult match against a player that is playing great… I know I have to play my best if I want to have chances. Sunday is the day to give my best, is the day to increase even a little bit more the level. I hope to be ready to do it.”

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41 Comments for Nadal Dominates Del Potro, Will Meet Thiem For French Open Title

RZ Says:

Go Thiem!

RZ Says:

Regardless of what happen in the final, your racquet bracket champion is…me! My first successful title defense. :-) Also regardless of outcome, Kimberly will be in 2nd, Colin 3rd, and Anto 4th.

Thanks to all who played! We’ll do it again in a few weeks at Wimbledon.

chofer Says:

All the complaints about Rafa rolling over Delpo are, naturally, coming from the anti-Nadal camp. As a Delpo supporter, I’ve said this Sf was within his reach (the draw didn’t put him against excelled claycourters, as neither Isner nor Cilic are, and that he’d lose in straights against the best player this tournament has ever seen. And that Delpo will be ok with it, just as he said it afterwards. Why? Because the Big Man was coming from a tear injury in Rome, didn’t know if he was playing at all, and even if he were match-tested on clay against the best on this surface, we’re talking about Rafael freaking Nadal!!

I would like to scroll over past threads to see what did you say about the masterclass he gave last year to Wawrinka, obviously a better claycourter than Delpo and former champion. Any answers?

My point is that is useless to “discuss” the opposition. Nadal is Nadal and centre Court it’s his home and garden. True, he didn’t play the whole tournament like the ruthless self of last year. Well, guess what? He just lost one set so far, even so.

That’s the power of the best terre-batue player I’ve seen in my life. I can comprehend some people would like to find a player who can challenge his domination here. In fact, Djokovic did for two years. Out of 13. Once he lost (spectacularly, in a SF) Once he won (rather easily) The rest was usual as business between this two here. Soderling was the other odd man out.

Nadal is history, right before your eyes. Don’t like it? Wait till Wimbledon. Is around the corner.

For this extraordinary player will show, one more time, why he’s one of the best ever. Probably Dom don’t think this way, and that would be OK to get a “match”. Confidence in the House of Nadal should only get you far.

But Nadal isn’t losing a final here. No way. Especially when all the forecast pointing the final moving to Monday.

It takes more than rain to derail him here. It takes the rare Serbian player who used to be mentally and physically steady enough to do it. Nadal survived that loss- Both Federer and Nadal survided Djokovic in the end, really. In the hunt of them, the other piece of the trio of champions derailed himself. That’s how tough this era really is. You think the other two are dead, you sort of master them, then you relax, then you fire your coaches, then you’re gone. Think about it.

Then tell Nadal don’t have opposition in Roland Garros. Frankly he never did in the big scheme of things. 85-2 is absurd for a 15 days tournament. Nadal makes the absurd the ordinary.

Good luck to Domi. He’ll need it.

Rick Says:

Djokovic beat Rafa in 2015 at the French, was simply because of Rafa’s own downfall. And Rooferer can’t even beat Del Potro on the US hardcourts. Shame! Shame! Shame! Like Soderling said that, if it wasn’t him taking out an injured Rafa at the French in 2009. Rooferer would still be chasing his first French title. And Rooferer would still be playing this year.

Rick Says:

Soderling also said that, he is still waiting for Rooferer to thank him for that. Wilander and Guy Forget both critcised Rooferer for not playing the French or trying to avoid playing Rafa. Wilander also said that, he understands that, Rooferer is not young. He needs to prepare for Wimbledon. But Roger should come and practice for a week, then to lose in the first round. And it won’t really hurt his confidence or preparation for Wimbledon.

chofer Says:

For is my post gets confusing: Are we really aware a 20 Slam champion and a 12 Slam champion (that’s freaking 32!) got, COMBINED, ONE win over Nadal here? Wouldn’t you be scared? There’s no precedent in tennis. Niether the Open Era nor the Amateur Era (who was easier)

Rick: That “Rooferer” thing is not even funny. How old are you? 5?

Rick Says:

Rooferer is never as dominating on grass as Rafa on clay. Rooferer was beaten at Wimbledon by Rafa, Berdych, Raobic, Djokovic and was beaten by some guy in third round bone year.

Rick Says:

Rooferer is the best indoor player ever. He stays indoor every May and June each year. Lol

Rick Says:

If Djokovic had already taken over Rooferer on grass. Hope he is recovering soon. Rooferer prefers night sessions and playing indoor.

AndyMira Says:

Oh my God Chofer!!…YOU’RE ONE OF THE BEST from non Rafa fans here!!Wooohoooo!!….A VERY EXCELLENT POST at 8:02pm!…Thank u ,thank u thank u for being one of the amazing & fair posters on TX!!I’m very honoured to have u here Chofer!!

skeezer Says:

“Rick: That “Rooferer” thing is not even funny. How old are you? 5?”
No, your guess is too old. 4 maybe?
For instance, how did Fed get 20 Slams? Under a roof? Lol, rick is under his/her own roof. Needs more education at school.
Obssessd with Fed, should be celebrating his/her fav. Am laughing 😂

skeezer Says:

“Don’t like it? Wait till Wimbledon. Is around the corner.”
Yep, looking forward to real tennis, real competition, and not a one surface wonder.

lylenubbins Says:

Chofer – -respect to you and thanks for the great posts!

chofer Says:

“Yep, looking forward to real tennis, real competition, and not a one surface wonder”

Everyone is entitled to select his tournament of choice as viewer-

Problem is, we complaint over and over about the same things. I prefer the glass full, you know.


Thanks. Tennis is my entertainment. Champions are my inspiration. Tennis will remember all these champions for ever and ever. We want to erase them from our memory… Weird.

AndyMira Says:

Chofer!…Honestly!I AM ONE OF YOUR FANS NOW!!Hahahaha…Please continue giving your excellent post & opinion in the future Chofer!..I will read it anytime!!

AndyMira Says:

Also Chofer…U also mentioned about Rick…Also read about Skeeze’s post at 10:35pm…THAT IS WHY RICK EXIST imo….None other than to counter attack from the likes of Skeeze & Co who hates Rafa so much…and not hesitate to belitlled Rafa at any opportunity they gets….

I think,as long as Skeeze & Co keep posting & ‘teasing’ Rafa & Rafans here..The likes of Rick,t4t will keep posting their ‘teasing’ post too…That’s why i value your fair & balanced post very much Chofer!…It’s very refreshing to read your post!…And sorry about Delpo too okay?I like him but i will takes a tremendous effort to dismantle Rafa at RG…Will be looking forward his campaign at Wimby…

chofer Says:

Skeezer is entirled to his opinion. I think he’s fairly respectful as far as I’m converned. Although “real tennis” is a disgraceful expression. Meybe he meant “unreal”. That would be more apropos.

I never had problems bowing to Roger countless of times. either. The first post I did here was the questions of why some fans would disregard the other with such negativity when the actual players not only respect each other, admire each other and really LIKE each other.

My answer was: some players don’t deserve its fans.

Rick, well, I only see him here when Nadal has already won or on the verge of it. And he post nonsenses. A true fan appears when the going gets tough to give some perspective. The rest are bullies. It’s easier to be friends with the “champion.

AndyMira Says:

Chofer…very agree about your post!..I disliked very much the post who don’t pay respect to the Champions that they all deserve!..It doesn’t matter whether it’s Rafa,Roger,Nole or Andy…

It’s such a shame peoples don’t have our mind…If not,TX can be such a very peaceful place already!

chofer Says:

T will never be. Social medio exists to vent anger towards… whatever. People seem so insecure about things they vicariuosly live through their favourites. It’s them that win or lose. Not us.

It’s mindboggling to complaint about Nadal dominance in this surface/tournament. Pretty sure in 5 years the same people will complain the ONLY Grand Slam Thiem makes waves is the same Nadal was dominating… while not setting his foot in the other three.

People really like to complain. That’s why we are for!

AndyMira Says:

Chofer…Hahaha!Yeah!..I don’t understand how their mind’s are working too!…I mean,they act like they ‘owned’ their idol!…If every words that they uttered here,[hateful or not] & they get a rewards such as money or gift from their idol..i wanna be a crazy fanatics too!…But,it’s not like that actually…

Their idol win or’s them who got all the rewards,name,popularity,wealth,prestigious…And we got nothing…And in my case,i’m still this poor & pathetic and will be like this till i die!Hahaha…So,’s very important to planted our feet very firmly on the ground & realized who we are…

Margot Says:

“Pathetic” AM, now stop that at once! Your feet may be on the ground but your head is in the stars. And agree, chofer is a huge asset to tx.

Margot Says:

PS Am going back a long, long time ago and probably only skeeze will remember both, but chofer’s posts remind me of the kind of analysis we used to have on here when MMT and Voicemale I were on here. Often disagreed with both of them, but always so interesting.

Willow Says:

Agree with everyone here Chofers posts are brilliant ….

Willow Says:

Margot ive actually been thinking all week is Chofer MMT ?

Margot Says:

No Willow, unless MMT is disguising his writing style, and I don’t think that’s likely. Also don’t think chofer is American. Of course I may be wrong, unlikely as that is….;)

chofer Says:

Thank you all. There are people worth talking to here of course. Thanks Margot, Andy and Willow. Maybe I appear down to Earth because I’m not a… fundamentalist? Can’t we appreciate the beauty of this spot no matter where is coming from?

I’ve been watching tennis since the mid 80s and my favorite players ever aren’t argentines (in case I am accused I have some bias towards Delpo) but the ultimate uderachievers: Miloslav Mecir and Hana Mandlikova. Both Czechs (actually Mecir is Slovak) with so raw a talent it was mesmerizing to watch. Those two made me appreciate the entire spectrum of this sport. In a way, they showed me how many inches of the court are wasted in no using. They used it all.

Of course, Mecir never won a Slam, so meanwhile I enjoyed the courts-smarts of a Wilander (ye olde version of Murray) and the spectacular serve and vollying of an Edberg or deep-diving Becker winning Slams.

Mandlikova had her share of harware in a Era dominated by Martina and Chris. But I learnt right away that tennis it’s not only about accumulating records. Of course, I am in awe about these records. What I mean is that there’s this beautiful individuals that wouldn’t care about it that much, but every once in a while they were so beautiful to watch, so easy on the eyes that you could tell they were having FUN. Winning or not.

And some people like me would react. They were no champions for the recordbooks. But they’re not forgotten. Not an inch. Just look em up on youtube and you’ll see. They made me fall in love with the sport and dissect every angle, every spin on the ball I would try (and fail) as a club player. Two underachivers!
Go figure! I’m vaccinated for life to hard losses,then.

In the late 90s I followed Rafter because Edberg had disssapeared and nobody was doing the things he was doing… in a Era of ballbashers he showed there was indeed another way to win Slams. The last breed of a species now sadly gone.

I could go on. That was the thing we were discussing at before I came back here. I got to get friendly with lots of Rafans and Rogfans and the whole of Serbia which waswas there, too!I even made the bold prediction of Wawrinka winning the Us Open over Nole and why and received a lot of support from them (really!)

There were obnoxious fundamentalists, of course. But even the ones not interested discussing other things being NOT records were sometimes funny picking others. Some people were stupidly creative being a bully.

Tennis decided to cancel its deal with livefyre (where we could all post photos, images, whatever -I remember some poster from Melbourne taking photos LIVE when Rafa and Nole had that grueling match! Things like that) and all went downhill from there with facebook. You can’t post these things in facebook. And frankly, there are people that don’t use it for this and it’s totally fine. So screw them!

I made brief stint here (I remember Jane and Skeezer back then) and came back. But I’m not MMT. I thought I could talk tennis here. I still think I can do it with some of you.

I only get bored when the partisans start discussing numbers, not tennis. Instead of analyzing a tactic or what is right or wrong with their favourite, they would say: THIS better than THAT, blah blah. Ok, I’m done with it. I like potatoes and pizza, among many things. So what? eating the same meal over and over not only is boring, is bad nutrition!

The numbers and records are there for a long time now. Why we keep focusing on them? Do these champions really have anything to prove anymore? To whom?

I think I made my week contribution alerting that Delpo had a groin tear before the tournament and that he was untrained for this tournament but with a gifted draw and the goal to get a number four seeding for Wimbledon (mission accomplished), Please Margot tell your buddies don’t change the seeding according to their tastes or I will very pissed off:))

And the other thing I wanted to contribute is why Rafa don’t like to play on a wet court and that is more vulnerable (as vulnerable as he can be on clay, not much) this way. I am surprised at how many Rafans didn’t know this open secret (not only here)but I assumed those were never really paying attention to Rafa’s game. Just counting the money. Not my thing.

Even though I support Delpo, I’m here for the tennis. Always. I’m eager to learn from you.

Pleasure finding out there are some people still interested.

Margot Says:

Thanks for sharing that, chofer. Lol at me being able to influence my “buddies” at the AELTC tho! But what will influence them is how JMDP did last year on grass, and, I think, how he does in any pre Wimbledon grass tournaments.

AndyMira Says:

M!! 1:28am….Hehehe…No wonder i love u!!

AndyMira Says:

Chofer 2:58am…Err…Who says we Rafans didn’t know that Rafa don’t like to play in a wet,damp & rainy conditions?….U really underestimate us u know!!…BIG TIME BUDDY!Hahaha…

U have no idea how nervous we are[all Rafans,here & TG] these last couple of days..when the weather forecast said it’s going to be a thunderstorm late afternoon yesterday…and sunday too…And in a match vs Schwartzy too!

And not only Rafa don’t like those conditions..he will be nervous too…coz it will impacted his game big time…So,i predict..if rain happen tomorrow…it’s going to be a tough match for him…Coz Thiem will exploit his weakness & punish him like in Madrid…BUT..

Hehehe…there’s a BUT Chofer…Rafa on PC will be like a man possessed…And if Thiem can stay with Rafa at a high level for 2,3,4 hrs..and not drop his level even for 1 minute…He got a chance..If not..I always said…From mental toughness POV..only Novak[at his peak] can stay toe to toe with Rafa that long…I’ve never known anyone else be able to do that so far Chofer….

Good nite to u Chofer!

King Billy Says:

It’s always later than we think.

Who would have thought, back in 2016, when Novak Djokovic was painting Googa hearts, being on top of the world, that in only 24 months he would be humiliated for two years in a row, first with a bagel by Tim and then with a loss to Kitchenato.

So, do not count Thiem out. Yet. Tennis is like mutual funds: Past Performance Is Not Indicative Of Future Results.

Anto Says:

@chofer 8:02 – excellent post. I couldn’t agree more.

Daniel Says:

chofer, Just checked and weather for Monday is even worst the Sunday. If the anticipate final to 1:30 pm or 2 pm they may get it done on Sunday with a rain break here and there depending on where the showers are. From 3 pm onwards there is ore than 50% chance of rain for every hours and Monday if they postpone it to same 3pm is 100% rain.

Curious to see if they will keep the 3pm local time or advance a bit. Looks we are in for a drama final.

Madmax Says:

No question Rafa to win in straight sets. I don’t think he has been tested really this tournament apart from that crazy win over Schwartsman – Rafa had nine lives and the rain gave him that lucky, lucky, break.

This will be a further slam for Nadal. I look back and I think how amazing he has continued this stretch of wins, with injuries overcome. Pretty incredible accomplishment.

Willow, I hope you enjoy the match tomorrow.

Willow Says:

Maybe hes just that good on this surface, not that he will ever be given much credit for it, however if people want to believe hes lucky then fair enough,the weathers the exact same for both players, none Rafa fans will always believe that hes lucky anyway, luck you make your own luck and all players have it at times then, i wouldnt expect any players to play tennis when its pissing down with either, he beat Delpo and if he beats Thiem then they are both top 10 players, and ones a GS champion, if DT wins then im cool with it, i wont see the start of the match because im at work till three, thats all im saying, its not the end of the world for me if my favorite loses ….

Daniel Says:

There is no “maybe” Willow. He is that good on this surface. Best that ever had and will. Nobody will replicate his clay results.

He combined all aspects for his increduble success: lefty, top spin, defense, ealry bloomer, play every point the same, never die attitude, inner confidence. Its a perfect combo.

chofer Says:


I didn’t mean YOU, but some people in other forums are oviblious to that fect. If it rains, perhaps it won’t be that easy. I’m sure both of them will be super aggressive from the get-go knowing the forecast beforhand. The key, to me, is whose ball is deeper and with enough margin to do damage. Wea ll know when Rafa is not comfortable he plays short. Which would be dangerous to him. And his serve, of course.

Then again, Thiem also overplays and commit many UFEs when being aggresive. If Rafa finds his BH on the return and prevent Thiem from inverting to his FH, then the match it’s in his hands.

None of them would like this to be long. So accuracy and not hitting short is paramount.

chofer Says:


You know Wimby has “their own” seeding system. Roger, Rafa and Zverev are safe. But they could actually put Cilic befor Delpo, as he has a good record there. Therefore a QF match against Federer could be more possible. And I don’t fancy that idea:))

Anyway, I think this Wimbledon will be the one Big Birds will be more dangerous than ever. Without knowing the draw, I would watch out for Isner and Anderson, who are more agressive and accurate than ever and heavy floaters like Raonic or Kyrgios.

I see some upsets this year. That’s why seeding between the four is so important to me.

j-kath Says:

Chofer: Yes, Wimbledon has their “own seeding” system but it applies for two years and the most points are applied for the calendar year preceding (ie 2017)- with a bit of a nod to the previous year (ie 2016). Roger is without doubt safe but I’m not sure that it will apply to Rafa and Sasha or how it will affect Delpo vs Cilic as I can’t remember the results of their grass seasons.

I could look them up and work it out – but traditionally Daniel is our mathematician ….maybe he is available?????

AndyMira Says:

Chofer 1:12pm…Oh!U didn’t meant me??Hehehehe…Oh okay!…

I agree once again with everythings u said Chofer…I’m sure Rafa will come out nervous once again…And i’m sure too Gunther Bresnik will tell Thiem to focus on that & take adv of it…And yeah!…Thiem hit balls very hard..and he may commit a lot of UE’s in his excitement to keep Rafa off balance…He also have a little bit trouble to disposed the journeyman Cecchinato in semis..75 76[10] 61 is a tough numbers..he have to do better than that coz Rafa isn’t Cecchi…Best of luck to both!…As a Rafan,i would love for Rafa to win his 11th..but if it’s Thiem…hey hey hey!…that’ll be okay too!!

Oh!..u said u can see an upsets at Wimby this year??Hehehe…Me too Chofer!!…My fellow Rafans wouldn’t like it!..But i can see the name ‘Rafa’ is among them!!…It’s just the matter of what round imo??

Daniel Says:

Wimbledon seeding: ATP rankings one week prior to Wimbledon + 100% of all 2017 grass points + 75% of 2016 Best Grass tourney.

Fed wil get the #1 seed for sure and Nadal #2 even if he loses tomorrow. Cilic most likely will get #3 or #4, due to his Wimby points from last year. Will depend of top 6 tune ups in Halle and Queens.

Okiegal Says:

Andy Mira is right……loyal Rafa fans know heavy conditions with dampness in the atmosphere is not a good thing for Rafa’s game…….SUNNY AND BRIGHT RAFA’S DELIGHT!
@Chofer…….I’m a loyal Rafa fan and I don’t want to see a weather report citing possible rain! We don’t want off and on drizzles, because they tend to play on.This is when we pray for a downpour and hopefully it will go to the next day in search of the sun!!

Some have said Rafa was lucky because the rains came…..if Rafa was truly lucky……there would not be any rain in the forecast period!!
Theim will be a very tough opponent for Rafa. Rafa will be very nervous because Dom has beaten him already and those losses were on clay. It should be a very exciting match……Highly possible there could be a new winner…. we will see!!
VAMOS 💪💪 🤠

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