Nadal 'very scared' on way to French victory

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Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro said that he will have "nothing to lose" in his French Open semi-final clash with Rafael Nadal on Friday, after not even knowing whether he would play in the days before the tournament. He will now be looking to win a record 11th grand slam title of the tournament.

6-1 defeat of surprise semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato ended that miserable streak, and Thiem, who has already beaten Nadal on clay this season, could now face the defending champion in the tournament decider.

Cecchinato, who up until this year's Roland Garros never got past the first round of a Grand Slam event, did not look the same in the third set, as he hit just one victor, committing eight unforced errors.

But Austrian Thiem will see this as a fantastic opportunity to reach a maiden Grand Slam final, after losing to Djokovic and Nadal at the semi-final stage in each of the last two years in Paris.

So what will he need to do to counter the credible threat of Thiem, the only man to beat him on clay this year, on Sunday?

At No. 72, Cecchinato was the lowest-ranked men's semifinalist at the French Open since 1999.

I played two sets at the same level (as Djokovic) against Thiem. Thiem was quick to respond, reeling off the next three games to take the set in 46 minutes.

The world number one held serious discussions with coach Carlos Moyá in an intense session in the heat as he studiously went about his business.

After dropping the first two sets he played in the opening round, Cecchinato came back to win that match in five sets, then proceeded to string together upsets.

"But I believe I will be ready for the final".

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"I think for me it is very important today, because I playing against Dominic".

If I had won the second set, I think it would have been totally different the third set.

Rafael Nadal bids for his record-extending 11th French Open championship when he faces Dominic Thiem in the final.

Del Potro had required the doctor early in the first set after appearing to jar his ankle in the red clay.He suffered a worrying power cut in the second set, slipping to 5-0 down on a double break, wasting his seventh break point out of seven on the way. "I know I have to improve a little bit".

"The big key was the second set", he said."It was a really close tiebreak and I didn't want that especially after I missed an easy volley at 6/4".

"The first set was very hard, there were lots of opportunities for Juan Martin del Potro and I was perhaps a little lucky to win it", Nadal said afterwards.

"Otherwise, it's not a very nice feeling".

Del Potro will be his opponent on Friday after eliminating No. 3 seed Marin Cilic 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 to make into the semifinals for the first time since 2009. I'm not sure if Thiem and Rafa had a run in the Bois de Boulogne that Rafa would win.

He hit a forehand long for 0-30 and then hit another forehand into the net to gift Nadal three set points. Cecchinato was accused of match-fixing and suspended for 18 months in 2016, but he appealed, and his punishment was dropped on a technicality.