‘A little hope’: Nadal vs Thiem in French Open final

first_imgMOST READ Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Nadal is 49-0 in all other clay-court contests over the past two seasons.“I know I have to play my best if I want to have chances,” said Nadal, who needs to win Sunday to hold onto his No. 1 ranking.Thiem’s ability to bully opponents from the baseline was on display in his 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 victory over No. 2 seed Alexander Zverev in the quarterfinals.That put Thiem, a 24-year-old from Austria who is seeded No. 7, in the semifinals at the French Open for the third consecutive year. Now he’s made it a step further.“You know when you start the clay-court season that Dominic, he’s one of these players that have the chance to win every tournament that he’s playing,” Nadal said, “and maybe even (more so) here in Roland Garros, because he’s strong physically. He has the power.”That might be.What is definitely true: Thiem has never been to a Grand Slam final until now.So nerves could come into play in the early going against Nadal, who will be bidding for his 17th major title overall.As for what sort of tactics will be employed Sunday, Nadal’s coach, Carlos Moya, offered a hint.“What will be important will be to try and make him play in uncomfortable situations,” said Moya, the 1998 French Open champion. “When (Thiem) is dominating the point, he is very dangerous. Once he is running, he is not that dangerous.” Sloane Stephens’ 1st loss in any final comes at French Open And Thiem’s approach?“I know how to play against him,” he said, without elaborating. “I have a plan.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates winning his semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament against Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in three sets 6-4, 6-1, 6-2, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Friday, June 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)PARIS — The only man to beat Rafael Nadal on clay this year was Dominic Thiem.And the only man to beat Nadal on clay last year was Thiem.ADVERTISEMENT China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls LATEST STORIEScenter_img Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours So if anyone could head into the French Open final with even the slightest reason to think there’s a chance of preventing Nadal from winning a record-extending 11th championship at Roland Garros, it is his opponent Sunday. Yes, that’s right: Thiem.“For sure,” said Thiem’s coach, Gunter Bresnik, “this gives you a little hope.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownNot any sort of certainty, of course. Not even necessarily a ton of belief. But, sure, a little hope.Bresnik knows, right along with everyone else, what a difficult task it is to try to slow Nadal in a best-of-five-set match on his favorite surface and at his favorite tournament. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Nadal is 85-2 for his French Open career, 110-2 in all best-of-fives on clay.The 32-year-old Spaniard is 10-0 in finals in Paris, winning the trophy every year from 2005-08, then again every year from 2010-14, then again in 2017.“He’s the best competitor in (any) sport, in my opinion, of all time. It doesn’t matter what sport. The way he competes is unbelievable. He’s physically strong, and you know he’s not going to give up — at any score. He’s not going to give you a free point if he’s up 5-love or down love-5,” Bresnik said. “This is why the guy was dominating clay-court tennis over the last 14 years like nobody else before. And nobody ever will.”This will be the 10th tour-level encounter between Nadal and Thiem. All have been on clay, and Nadal leads 6-3, including 2-0 in Paris, beating Thiem in the first round in 2014 and the semifinals a year ago.But if there is a tad of intrigue entering this final, it is because of what happened in Rome on May 19, 2017, and in Madrid on May 11, 2018. On the first date, Thiem defeated Nadal 6-4, 6-3. On the second, Thiem defeated Nadal 7-5, 6-3.ADVERTISEMENT Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film View commentslast_img read more

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