Rafael Nadal beat Austrian Dominic Thiem in three sets to reach his first French Open final in three years on Friday.
The Spaniard, seeded fourth for the tournament, beat 22-year-old Thiem 6-3 6-4 6-0 on Philippe Chatrier, and will meet third seed Stan Wawrinka on Sunday following the Swiss’ five-set victory over Andy Murray earlier at Roland Garros.
King of Clay Nadal, who is looking for his 10th French Open crown, was too much for young Thiem, who had looked hugely impressive in the last eight having defeated Novak Djokovic in three sets.
World No 4 Nadal, who has been in fine form on clay in 2017, was broken in the very first game, but produced a double break of his own soon after on his way to taking the first set 6-3.
Thiem’s superb drop-shots and calmness at the net entertained the bumper Philippe Chatrier crowd, but the youngster was broken in the third game of the second set by Nadal.
Nadal kept serve to win the set 6-4, with a 67 per cent first serve rate and six unforced errors to Thiem’s 12.
Nadal, who has been searching for that elusive 15th Grand Slam crown since his win here over Djokovic in 2014, picked up where he left off in the third set, breaking Thiem instantly.
He broke again in Thiem’s next service game to make it 3-0, and then again to make it 5-0, with No 6 seed Thiem looking overawed by the 31-year-old’s strength and movement.
He eventually rounded off the set 6-0 in just 30 minutes, keeping the dream of a French Open ‘La Decima’ very much alive.
For those on the move, we will have the French Open from Roland Garros covered via our website www.skysports.com/tennis, our app for mobile devices and iPad, or follow our Twitter account @SkySportsTennis to join in the conversation