Rafael Nadal: Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem challenge as big as Roger Federer, RAFAEL NADAL says he is not fussed if he faces Novak Djokovic or Dominic Thiem in the French Open final.
Dominic Thiem vs Rafael Nadal Live
Nadal is one step away from winning his 12th French Open title after beating Roger Federer in straight sets today.
The Spaniard will be boosted by extra rest ahead of Sunday as the Djokovic vs Thiem semi-final has been postponed.
The pair must return to play on Saturday at 11am (BST) – meaning they have just 24 hours between the semi-finals and final.
“Both are rivals of the highest demand, they are number one and four,” Nadal said.
“It’s true that Federer has been playing less for a few years, and taking away from him, Novak, Dominic and I are the ones who have had the best results.
“The opponent is the most competitive possible, but it is the final of Roland Garros.“That’s the sport and that’s the way it has to be.
“That makes the sport more interesting and better, if I play well I hope my chances are there.”
Nadal also told his supporters that while he is able to dominate other top players on clay he will not consider retiring.”It can always be the last time but I have not thought about it,” he added.
Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem will meet in the French Open final for the second straight year when they clash on Sunday. Nadal beat Roger Federer in straight sets in his semifinal on Friday, whereas Thiem needed to return on Saturday to polish off a five-set victory over Dominic Thiem.
on Wertheim: Thiem needs a fast start to puncture Nadal’s confidence and put him under some pressure. The biggest difference between April Nadal (when his struggles on clay included a defeat to Thiem) and Paris Nadal (virtually untouchable) redound to this: at the French Open, he is the embodiment of self-confidence. Thiem needs to deplete some of that. He can do so, by serving well (better than he did against Djokovic), pinning Nadal behind the baseline and standing in, so his he can unload his backhand at chest-height and not neck-height.
Stanley Kay: Serve well. Don’t be afraid to come to the net. Start strong. Stay confident. Take advantage of opportunities on Nadal’s serve. Hope for a bit of divine intervention.
Jamie Lisanti: When all of the odds and history are against you, you’re left with one key: belief. The 25-year-old Austrian should be armed with some confidence, proving he can beat Nadal on clay—three times, in the best-of-three matches—including a recent straight-sets victory in the Madrid quarterfinals this year. The biggest question for Thiem is whether or not he can hang in for a best-of-five match, and that will come down to whether or not he can control the baseline and take time away from Nadal. Thiem will need to be fully recovered from his taxing, two-day affair against Novak Djokovic and both his punching forehand and two-handed backhand will need to be on and firing. He will also need to believe.
Daniel Rapaport: He absolutely has to start quickly. Nadal is a devestating front runner everywhere, but especially so at a place where he’s had such unparalleled succcess. He needs to serve well. He needs to find a way, despite his tiring lead-up, to be the more energetic player. And he has to take his chances and capitalize on break points. Basically, he has to play a perfect match…and that probably still wouldn’t be enough.