Krejcikova, Siniakova win French Open doubles

Rafael Nadal rattled by Diego Schwartzman before rain reprieve in Paris

Rafael Nadal rattled by Diego Schwartzman before rain reprieve in Paris

Paris: Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal on Friday outclassed Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro to storm into his record 11th final of the French Open with a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 win in the men's semi-final clash.

More prize money is up for grabs than ever before at this year's French Open but it remains the least lucrative of the four Grand Slams for players to win.

Nadal became the third man in the Open Era to reach 11 semifinals at a single Grand Slam tournament.

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.

Austrian Dominic Thiem faces arguably the biggest challenge in sport, overcoming Rafael Nadal on the Court Philippe Chatrier clay, if he is to join the Grand Slam winners' club on Sunday.

In his on-court speech after Nadal's 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory, the 24-year-old Thiem said: "I still remember when you won here the first time, 2005".

The 29-year-old missed the event for four straight years before a third-round loss in 2017, but has regained fitness in recent months and reached the semi-finals at the US Open last year, where he lost to Nadal. After guzzling water during that break, Nadal felt better and was back to playing his unmistakable brand of almost unbeatable clay-court tennis.

Both players contributed to an entertaining start, but Thiem quickly took control, breaking through in the opening game and then comfortably holding easily.

Breaking serve in the first game and bouncing to a 4-2 lead, Thiem controlled proceedings before Cecchinato reeled off the next three games with trademark flair and adventure.

Robert Whittaker beats Yoel Romero by split decision in Chicago
Or Romero will derail the New Zealand fighter and force the UFC to make a decision. "There wouldn't be a fight", Whittaker said. However, Whittaker posted to Twitter following the weigh-in, with his message all but confirming his intention to fight Romero.

The world number one goes in search of Roland Garros title number 11 against Dominic Thiem of Austria on Sunday.

Nadal said: "Thiem is an incredible player".

"I have done a lot of things well in the clay court season, but I believe I can be ready for the final".

"That", del Potro would say later, "was my chance".

"I need to regenerate and have a good breakfast to keep up my good level".

On the resumption of play, Nadal held his two service points to take the second set 6-3. Although he lost the first point of the fourth game, a flawless drop shot got Schwartzman to 15-all, and a backhand victor from followed by a drop shot gave Nadal a second break an 4-1 lead. "I think he's the second or third-best player on red clay", Cecchinato, who was suspended for match-fixing in 2016 before being cleared on a technicality, told reporters.

Nadal, by contrast, had not had a sniff on Del Potro's serve until, at 5-4, two swishes of his forehand forced two set points, the second of which he converted when the Argentinian netted. "When (Thiem) is dominating the point, he is very risky".

Thiem weathered three set points for Cecchinato, at 7-6, 9-8 and 10-9. "I am a little bit fortunate to win the first set". "But I will not give (it to) him, '" Nadal said.

Increasingly frustrated at Cecchinato's resistance, Thiem lost his composure completely in the second set.

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