Nadal beats del Porto, advances to final

French Open: Ruthless Rafael Nadal punishes Juan Martin del Potro in semi-final

Nadal overcomes nerves to meet del Potro in French Open semi-finals

Romania's Simona Halep returns the ball to Spain's Garbine Muguruza during their women's singles semi-final match on day twelve of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on June 7, 2018.

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

"If he would have won the tie-break, he would (have been) full power, for sure, in the third set".

Nadal‚ a 16-time Grand Slam champion‚ claimed his 85th win in Paris against just two losses after weathering a big-hitting opening from 2009 US Open victor Del Potro to win 6-4‚ 6-1‚ 6-2.

Dominic Thiem says he has a plan to beat Rafael Nadal when he faces the reigning champion in the French Open final.

Nadal now leads 2-0 in the second set, having won the first set 6-4. The Austrian won just one of the first nine points as Nadal immediately broke for 2-0.

"He's a big favourite against everybody", Thiem said.

Throw in three titles at the U.S. Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the Australian Open, and Nadal is up to 17 majors, second among men only to Roger Federer's 20.

After a sticky first set in which Del Potro's powerful groundstrokes and heavy serve earned the Argentine several chances to forge ahead, Nadal seized control with as devastating a display as he has ever produced on Philippe Chatrier court.

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

"Of course there is pressure, especially in Grand Slam finals, because I have gone a very long way now and I don't want to lose the final", said Thiem.

"Maybe the experience helped a little bit but the big key was the second set tie-break because it was very close and I saved I think three set points", said Thiem.

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Truth is, there were not many the rest of the way, as Nadal finished with 35 winners and just 19 unforced errors.

But Austrian Thiem will see this as a fantastic opportunity to reach a maiden Grand Slam final, after losing to Djokovic and Nadal at the semi-final stage in each of the last two years in Paris.

Rafael Nadal briefly interrupted the French Open final against Dominic Thiem in the third set with an apparent problem with his left wrist.

Thiem, who beat Nadal in Madrid this season, Rome previous year and in Buenos Aires on clay in 2016, trails 3-6 in the pair's head-to-head.

Nadal will retain the world number one ranking if he wins - but that will be the last thing on his mind.

But Thiem showed resilience in getting two break points on Nadal's serve.

On Friday, del Potro was by far the better player in the first set while, in the quarter-finals, Diego Schwartzman won the first set.

What is definitely true: Thiem has never been to a Grand Slam final until now.

The 16th-seeded Gauff, who is 14 years old, beat 15th-seeded Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada 6-4, 6-3.

Nadal has not lost at Roland Garros when taking the first set and that record did not look like coming under threat as he continually rebuffed Thiem's attempts to make inroads into his serve, taking the second courtesy of an early break.

Del Potro, the US Open victor in 2009, is playing the tournament for only the second time since 2012 after a spate of injuries.

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