sport news – Thiem for a change? Or same old Nadal script?


PARIS (Reuters) – Austrian Dominic Thiem faces arguably the most important problem in sport, overcoming Rafael Nadal on the Courtroom Philippe Chatrier clay, if he’s to affix the Grand Slam winners’ membership on Sunday.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 8, 2018 Austria’s Dominic Thiem in motion throughout his semi ultimate match towards Italy’s Marco Cecchinato REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Solely two gamers have managed to beat Nadal on the French Open since he first bounded into Roland Garros in 2005 armed with a bulging left bicep, pirate pants and a pulverizing model of claycourt tennis the like of which had not been seen earlier than.

13 years on and his document subsequent to the Bois de Boulogne stands at an unbelievable 85 wins and two losses.

An 86th win on Sunday will give the 32-year-old Spaniard an 11th French Open title — a joint document for triumphs at a single Grand Slam together with Margaret Courtroom who received 11 Australian Open trophies, albeit not all within the skilled period.

It appears a frightening mission for the 24-year-old Thiem however not essentially an not possible one.

He’s the one participant to beat Nadal on clay prior to now two years — in Rome final 12 months and in Madrid final month — and this season no different participant, not even the undisputed claycourt king, can depend as many match wins on the pink dust.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 7, 2018 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in motion throughout his quarter ultimate match towards Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman REUTERS/Charles Platiau

True, he was obliterated by Nadal within the semi-final 12 months in the past however Thiem has added extra aggression to his pure claycourt weapons, particularly the forehand, as he displayed when gorgeous Nadal within the Madrid quarter-final.

That win, in line with three-times former champion Mats Wilander, must be all Thiem is considering when he prepares for Sunday’s conflict.

“Neglect the 10 (French Open titles) and neglect what occurred final 12 months, Thiem has to recollect what occurred in Madrid which is a title Nadal desires to win nearly as a lot because the French,” Wilander, Eurosport’s chief analyst, informed Reuters.

Wilander believes Thiem can fear Nadal if he’s ready to “take dangers” like Diego Schwartzman did within the quarter-finals when he snapped the left-hander’s run of 37 consecutive accomplished units received on the French Open by snatching the opener.

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If not, will probably be Goodnight Vienna for the person with among the best single-handed backhands in tennis.

“The one technique to beat Rafa on clay is to take dangers… to over-achieve you need to over-play and danger greater than you’re feeling snug doing,” Wilander stated.

“If Thiem can do this and construct sufficient hope within the first hour, hour and a half, possibly get the primary set he could make it bodily like he did in Madrid. I’m undecided if Thiem and Rafa had a run within the Bois de Boulogne that Rafa would win.

“Thiem is an animal bodily and when it comes to hitting the ball onerous on the forehand.”

Loads have gone in with sound tactical plans towards the 16-times Grand Slam champion in Paris however when the forehand bombardment begins, the best-laid plans often disintegrate as was the case in Friday’s semi-final when Nadal thrashed Juan Martin del Potro who many thought posed a reputable menace.

“Rafa is a genius on clay, thus far forward tactically,” Wilander stated. “It’s like he has a built-in coach in his thoughts. You may’t inform what he’s going to do earlier than he does it, however when he does it, all of it appears so apparent!”

Thiem is trying to turn out to be solely the second Austrian participant — man or girl — to win a Grand Slam title after Thomas Muster’s French Open victory in 1995.

Nadal will retain the world primary rating if he wins – however that would be the final thing on his thoughts.

Reporting by Martyn Herman, enhancing by Pritha Sarkar

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