Rafael Nadal will aim for an unprecedented 11th Roland Garros title, breaking his own record from past year - Five reasons why he won't be stopped. Both men are at stages in their career that have previously been points of great decline for the greats who came before them.
Del Potro, playing in the semi finals here for the first time since losing to Roger Federer in 2009, was 0-40 ahead on Nadal's serve at 1-1 but could not press home the break and worryingly appeared to hurt his hip at deuce in that game.
"I'll watch the other semi-final to study my opponent and then it's full power on Sunday (June 10)".
He did not look unduly affected though and his heavy groundstrokes took a toll on Nadal who rescued three more break points in the ninth game.
It was part of a run in which he claimed 14 of the last 17 games to overwhelm the No. 5-seeded del Potro 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 and earn yet another spot in the title match at Court Philippe Chatrier.
Thiem withstood huge challenge from Italian underdog Marco Cecchinato in the first two sets of Friday's semifinal, winning 7-5 and 7-6 (10) respectively, before easing through the third set 6-1.
"I know I have to give a little more than I have given until now in this tournament". "I have a plan and".
Yesh: It has been nearly a decade since del Potro made the semifinals here. That crucial early juncture altered the course of things, though. So when I had the chances, I just tried to convert.
"I feel the pressure every day, but not here". It is his most one-sided final win since allowing Federer just four games in the 2008 final.
Nadal will face Thiem in Sunday's final, which is Nadal's 11th at Roland Garros and Thiem's first in any major. I have to fight till the end.
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Del Potro will switch his focus to playing on grass, with the 29-year-old confirming he will take stock of his schedule after Wimbledon.
"Maybe the experience helped a little bit but the big key was the second set tiebreak because it was very close and I saved I think three set points", said Thiem.
They tried their best to rouse their man in the third set but it was mission impossible as Nadal, clubbing the ball as if his life depended on it, finished like a raging bull as he headed into his 24th Grand Slamfinal. Both defeats have been at the hands of Thiem.
In greenback terms that comes out at $2.6m, making it the smallest winner's prize of the year's four Grand Slam events and almost $1m less than the richest tournament the US Open which paid its 2017 winners - Nadal and Sloane Stephens - $3.7m each.
Halep will face Stephens after the US Open victor maintained her ideal record against fellow American Madison Keys with a 6-4 6-4 win in the other semi-final. Stephens won last year's U.S. Open; Halep is 0-3 in major finals.
Cecchinato, who was suspended for match-fixing in 2016 before being cleared on a technicality, proved to be no pushover even though he had never won a match at a major before this year's French Open.
"We know Thiem can beat him", Cash said. Nadal won at Roland-Garros and took the US Open trophy in 2017.
Thiem sent Cecchinato scurrying around the court before breaking decisively for a 6-5 lead with a lovely forehand victor. Then Thiem got to 10-all with a drop shot of his own.
At long last, Thiem converted his fifth set point when Cecchinato sent a forehand long.