World No. 1 Rafael Nadal is aiming to win his 11th Rolland Garros title on Sunday when he faces off with seventh-seeded Dominic Thiem of Austria, who is looking forward to claim his first.
The 32-year old 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.
According to Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), if Nadal wins the 2018 French Open, he will be the first ever player to win 11 titles of three different tournaments.
He has won the same number of Barcelona Open and Monte-Carlo Masters titles.
Ahead of the game, according to ATP, Nadal said that he will have to give his best against a player (Thiem) who is equally great.
“I know I have to play my best if I want to have chances. Good thing is I played a lot of good matches this clay-court season,” ATP quoted Nadal as saying.
On the other hand, World No. 8 Dominic Thiem, who is only 24 years old, reached his first Grand Slam final to face the ace by defeating 72nd seeded Italian Marco Cecchinato in three sets- 7-5, 7-6 (10), 6-1.
It is also Thiem’s third consecutive appearance in the final of this respective tournament. In the 2016 and 2017 editions, he lost to eventual Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Nadal.
Moreover, he is the first Austrian to reach a Grand Slam final of Roland Garros since Thomas Muster’s victory in 1995.
The promising Austrian Tennis star would look forward to winning the maiden title since he had outclassed top-seeded Nadal earlier in Madrid Open in May this year and in the Italian Open last year.
“I know how to play against him. I have a plan,” agenices quoted Thiem as saying.
He said that the pressure is on him to perform his best and added that when it comes to beating the ace, his performance would have to match up to the ones he played in Rome and Madrid.
On a related note, top seed and Romanian tennis ace Simona Halep won her first-ever French Open grand slam title on Saturday after surging past a fighting Sloane Stephens of the United States in just over two hours in three sets- 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.