Rafa Nadal books French final showdown with Dominic Thiem

Nadal walks off court for the second time due to rain in Paris

Nadal walks off court for the second time due to rain in Paris

Although at times during the first set against Del Potro, especially when he was 0-40 down at 1-1 and 15-40 down at 4-4 it looked as though he might be in for a real scrap.

Del Potro saved one but a backhand error handed Nadal the set and he never took a backward glance after that.

Notably, Thiem is the only player to have tasted success against Nadal on clay over the last two seasons.

Nadal is 49-0 against everyone else on the surface over the past two years.

The Czech pair beat second-seeded Andrea Sestini Hlavackova and Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-2.

Yang and Chan lost to Japanese pair of Hozumi Eri and Ninomiya Makoto 6-2, 6-2 in semifinals in 63 minutes.

And on the penultimate point of the semifinal, after being run ragged, the 2009 US Open victor could only offer up a smile.

Dominic Thiem is an awesome player. Both players dropped serve four times.

"I have to play that way like I did in Rome and in Madrid", Thiem said. Del Potro, who has struggled with injury, recently, may find it tough to stick with the Spaniard physically and won't have what it takes to knock off the King of Clay.

It is also Thiem's third consecutive appearance in the final of the tournament.

Thiem will also be in his first Grand Slam final, so there's no way of knowing whether the occasion will bring out the best in him or add another hurdle to overcome, but he can at least make it a competitive affair. Because being No. 1 without a Grand Slam, I always said, is not like everything, not 100 percent.

Local favorites Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut will battle for men's doubles champion against No. 2 seed Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic.

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Thiem defeated Cecchinato 7-5, 7-6 (12-10), 6-1 to reach his first French Open final.

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

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.

The Spaniard is just the second man in the Open Era to advance to 11 championship matches at a single Grand Slam, joining Roger Federer, who has won eight titles from 11 finals at Wimbledon.

Del Potro said the Austrian, the only player to beat Nadal on clay over the past two seasons, has a chance - albeit a slim one. Their semifinal is later Friday.

Rafael Nadal has dropped a set at the French Open for the first time since 2015.

"He's an incredible player", Nadal said of Thiem.

The boys' final at the French Open will pit top-seeded Sebastien Baez of Argentina against Chun Hsin Tseng from Taiwan.

Nadal is now 10-5 in his career against del Porto. Victory on Sunday will give Nadal an 11th title in Paris and equal Margaret Court's all-time record for wins at the same Slam event - in her case, the Australian Open from 1960 and 1973.

'It's been a lot of years of playing and doing the same things every year.

The other men's match is No. 7 Dominic Thiem of Austria against unseeded Marco Cecchinato of Italy.

When he held his first press conference after his opening Roland Garros win, the official transcript stretched to a modest 64 words in English in response to just one bland question.

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