Rafael Nadal reaches 11th French Open final, will face Dominic Thiem

Rafael Nadal received treatment during his French Open quarter-final clash

"Of course the stop yesterday helped because it was in a tough moment of my match", said Nadal.

The 11th-seeded Schwartzman appeared to have done his homework well as he dominated the early exchanges to bag the opening set: an achievement in itself as it was the first one Nadal had lost at Roland Garros since 2015. No. 10 Sloane Stephens beat No. 13 Madison Keys 6-4, 6-4.

A fourth set point for Thiem was erased with - what else? - a drop shot by Cecchinato.

The Romanian broke at the start of the second set and then held for 6-3 as Kerber dropped her serve again in the ninth game.

He fired long on a first set point, Nadal saved the second with a jaw-dropping drop shot but on the third, just after the match was interrupted for a few minutes while an unwell spectator was evacuated, Schwartzman unleashed a stunning forehand victor down the line - his 20th victor.

Nadal fought them off - three at 1-1 and three more at 4-4 - then took the set with only his second break point when Del Potro slammed a backhand into the net.

The above table clearly demonstrates the sheer domination that the likes of Borg and Nadal have had on clay.

Thiem is the only player to beat Nadal on red clay over the past two seasons.

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. Halep saved two match points to win that one.

His face was creased with worry as he trailed a pumped-up rival, but Rafael Nadal re-emerged after an overnight rain delay to blow away Diego Schwartzman at Roland Garros. He has won every final he has reached, and in those 11 finals he has dropped just six sets.

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Dominic Thiem was playing his third straight French Open semi-final.

If Thiem wins on Sunday, he will be the youngest man to win at Roland Garros since Nadal won at 24 in 2010. "If I lost that tiebreak it would have been a very close match and I didn't want that". Instead, I'll be looking to the side markets for some more value.

Del Potro missed another chance at 2-0 in the second set and from that point there was only going to be one victor. The Italian succumbed quickly in the third set, sparing the French Open from a final in which his past match-fixing case would have been rehashed under a global spotlight.

"I don't know if I will win, but I will take a big love from you and that's the most important for me", he said. And he did just that, easier opponent notwithstanding, with a 7-5, 7-6 (12/10), 6-1 win.

"But let's not get ahead of ourselves since there is a final to be played on Sunday, and Dominic Thiem has done enough in the last couple of years to establish himself as an accomplished clay court player".

They were at 5-all in a first-set tiebreaker when their match was stopped. Coincidentally, the only time he has looked in any danger was on day 11 when Diego Schwartzman, the 11th seed, took the only set of the tournament off him.

The No. 1-ranked Nadal will be serving for the second set at 5-3, 30-15 when he and Schwartzman return to Court Philippe Chatrier on Thursday.

The pair had resumed their quarter-final level at 5-5 in a first-set tie-break.

In the women's last-eight, Maria Sharapova faces fellow former Paris champion Garbine Muguruza. Nadal has never been as vulnerable in a Roland Garrros final as he will be on Sunday.

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