Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Five Reasons why Rafael Nadal will win Roland Garros 2018

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
Tamara Craig | 10 June, 2018, 13:29

His ravenous will to win this title for an 11th time - a figure that feels weighty enough to merit Roman numerals instead - was on display Friday as he made a three-set meal of Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro.

Despite rain delaying his passage through to the final, Rafa Nadal has continued his incredible Roland Garros record by reaching yet another showpiece in France.

Wilander believes Thiem can worry Nadal if he is prepared to "take risks" like Diego Schwartzman did in the quarter-finals when he snapped the left-hander's run of 37 consecutive completed sets won at the French Open by snatching the opener.

Young pretender - and perhaps heir to the throne - Dominic Thiem has been dubbed the Prince of Clay and he will get a shot at the undisputed ruler of the Parisian land for more than a decade.

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.

The injury-prone Argentine had a discussion with Dr. Bernard Montalvan during the changeover, with Nadal leading 3-2 in the first set.

Croatian Cilic played an bad game when serving for the set, making four unforced errors, but he was gifted another chance to serve for the set after breaking Del Potro again and at the second time of asking he levelled the match.

Del Potro failed to take any of the six break-point chances that came his way early in the semi-final, letting the 10-time champion off the hook as he struggled on serve.

"I am very happy to be in another Roland Garros final, it is the most important tournament of my career". "We don't have to forget that, we have to be aware of that, but also not give too much importance to that otherwise it can get in your head and it's not helping".

"Even if it was 6-3 6-4, it was an uncomfortable match for me", Nadal said.

"It's not going to be easy but he's facing Dominic, we know he's the only player that beat him on clay the last couple of years".

Halep wins first Grand Slam with comeback over Stephens
It certainly isnt very easy to overcome being a set down in the final of a Grand Slam you've already lost a couple of times. Stephens won the sixth game before Halep held her serve and completed the victory in front of a delighted Parisien crowd.

Otherwise, he stayed steady in a 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 win over No. 3 Marin Cilic in a matchup between two past U.S. Open champions. For sure he is beatable, but you have to have the level, and Dominic has the level and you have to play the flawless match and the most important thing is you can't miss the occasions that you have.

"I am in a positive way always on court", Nadal said. I think also it's a good thing that I faced him already twice here.

"I have a very hard match against a player that is playing great", 16-time Grand Slam victor Nadal said.

Anything can happen in a Grand Slam final.

Cecchinato's bid to become the spoiler's spoiler ended, for all intents and purposes, when he was unable to convert any of three set points in an entertaining second-set tiebreaker that was the middle chapter of Thiem's 7-5, 7-6 (10), 6-1 win.

"For that, I'm going to practice tomorrow with this idea in mind".

"But I will have to fight, and I'll do my best".

Scalps in Rome and Madrid are impressive but the ultimate test awaits the 24-year-old on the final Sunday of a fascinating two weeks in the French capital.

" If I lost that tie-break it would have been a very close match I think and I didn't want that".

"When I missed that volley it wasn't a very nice feeling".

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