Cecchinato vows to prove French semi-final was no fluke

Wednesday, 13 Jun, 2018

Marco Cecchinato of Italy was defeated by Dominic Thiem of Austria during day thirteen of the 2018 French Open.

"He managed to do it well".

That the second seed, Alexander Zverev, reached his first grand slam quarter-final this week says it all.

Nevertheless, the 24-year-old can look back on two victories over Nadal on his favourite surface in the last 13 months, including one in Madrid just last month.

Nadal is 49-0 in all other clay-court contests over the past two seasons.

"I want to work more to go top 20".

It was a first Grand Slam final for the Austrian.

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

Dabrowski teamed with India's Rohan Bopanna to win last year's French Open mixed-doubles title and with Pavic to win the Australian Open mixed title earlier this year. "Being in a final here is something I should rejoice about and be happy about", he said.

Tears welled in the eyes of the now 11-time champion as he was applauded by the crowd.

Cecchinato is bidding to become the first Italian to reach a men's final at a Grand Slam tournament since Adriano Panatta won the title in Paris 42 years ago. Andy Murray talked about his come back. "It was 6-4 and the one thing I wanted to do was win the set - and I missed an easy volley at one moment which was not a nice feeling".

His uncle thought wrapping around Nadal's left forearm was too tight.

Schwartzman held serve to open the fourth se and Nadal held with an overhead smash to level one game apiece. At the following changeover, he was given a salt pill by a doctor and had his left forearm massaged by a trainer.

He broke the Austrian in the third game of the set.

Schwartzman had the first advantage but dropped on a forehand shot. Their match was also initially suspended by rain headed for a tiebreaker at 6-6 in the first set.

Until 4-all, 15-all in the opening set, to be precise.

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. Since then, the Spaniard has been imperious.

Del Potro's play this tournament, plus his history against Nadal - the fifth seed won two of their three previous duels and was the last foe to down the Mallorcan in a grand slam semifinal in 2009 - suggested a close tilt.

This was the No 5-seeded del Potro's first semifinal at Roland Garros since 2009.

Top-ranked Simona Halep has rallied past Angelique Kerber 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2 to reach the French Open semifinals.

Just 45 percent of Thiem's first serves went in, compared to Nadal's 65 percent.

Nadal had 12 unforced errors. Nadal held for 5-4, and Thiem basically handed over the next game - and the set - with four mistakes.

He got nervous again, however, in the last game, needing four match points to secure victory.

He hit a forehand long for 0-30 and then hit another forehand into the net to gift Nadal three set points.

Thiem led 6-3 but suddenly lost focus.

Juan Martin Del Potro called the tournament doctor early in his French Open semifinal against Rafael Nadal.