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Rafael Nadal improved to 11-0 in French Open semifinals as he seeks his 11th title at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament, saving all seven break points he faced and overwhelming 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.
The No. 1-ranked Nadal compiled a 35-20 edge in winners while making only 19 unforced errors Friday.
Nadal saved three break points at 1-all in the opening set and another three at 4-all. After holding there, Nadal broke del Potro to take that set and was on his way, taking 14 of the last 17 games.
This was the No. 5-seeded del Potro’s first semifinal at Roland Garros since 2009. He missed the tournament every year from 2013-16 because of injuries, including three operations on his left wrist. In the fourth game Friday, del Potro clutched at his left hip after being wrong-footed by one shot from Nadal and was visited by a doctor at the next changeover.
On Sunday, Nadal will face No. 7 seed Dominic Thiem, a 24-year-old Austrian who reached his first Grand Slam final by eliminating unseeded Marco Cecchinato in straight sets.
Thiem is the only player to beat Nadal on red clay over the past two seasons. Nadal is 49-0 against everyone else on his preferred surface in 2017 and 2018.
Unseeded Japanese pair Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya will take on sixth-seeded Czech duo Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova in the French Open women’s doubles final.
Both teams are through to the final at Roland Garros for the first time after securing uspet wins on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
The Czech pair beat second-seeded Andrea Sestini Hlavackova and Barbora Strycova 6-3, 6-2.
Earlier, the Japanese duo won 6-2, 6-2 against Hao-Ching Chan of Taiwan and Zhaoxuan Yang of China 6-2, 6-2.
Caty McNally and Cori Gauff will meet in an all-American girls’ final at the French Open after winning their semifinals.
The 16th-seeded Gauff, who is 14 years old, beat 15th-seeded Leylah Annie Fernandez of Canada 6-4, 6-3.
The 16-year-old McNally, who is unseeded, beat Iga Swiatek of Poland 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4. Both players dropped serve four times.
It is the second straight all-American girls’ final at Roland Garros, after Whitney Osuigwe beat Claire Liu last year.
Juan Martin Del Potro called the tournament doctor early in his French Open semifinal against Rafael Nadal.
The injury-prone Argentine had a discussion with Dr. Bernard Montalvan during the changeover, with Nadal leading 3-2 in the first set. Their discussion took place minutes after del Potro seemed to hurt his left hip during the third game of the match after getting wrong-footed.
Rafael Nadal held serve in the opening game against Juan Martin del Potro in their French Open semifinal.
Nadal can become just the second male player in the Open era to reach 11 finals at the same Grand Slam tournament, equaling Roger Federer’s record at Wimbledon.
The 10-time Roland Garros champion has won 23 of his 26 Grand Slam semifinals.
Del Potro, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, has a 1-3 record in Grand Slam semis.
Second-seeded Olivier Marach of Austria and Mate Pavic of Croatia are through to the French Open men’s doubles final, beating 2016 champions Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez of Spain 6-4, 7-5.
Marach and Pavic are going for their second straight major title together after winning the Australian Open in January.
But they face stiff competition in the final against Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.
The sixth-seeded Frenchmen have won two Grand Slams together.
Dominic Thiem reached his first Grand Slam final and ended the surprising French Open run of 72nd-ranked Marco Cecchinato of Italy.
The No. 7-seeded Thiem beat Cecchinato 7-5, 7-6 (10), 6-1 in the semifinals Friday.
It was the Austrian’s third consecutive appearance in the semifinals at Roland Garros. He lost at this stage to eventual champions Novak Djokovic in 2016 and Rafael Nadal in 2017.
This time, Thiem instead faced Cecchinato, who never had won a Grand Slam match until this tournament and was the lowest-ranked men’s semifinalist at the clay-court major in 19 years. Cecchinato was accused of match-fixing and suspended for 18 months in 2016, but he appealed, and his punishment was dropped on a technicality.
In Sunday’s final, Thiem will face either No. 1 Nadal or No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro. Their semifinal is later Friday.
Thiem is the only man to defeat 10-time French Open champion Nadal on clay this season.
Marco Cecchinato has dropped his first service game against seventh-seeded Dominic Thiem in their French Open semifinal.
Thiem then held his serve at love for a 2-0 lead.
Cecchinato is bidding to become the first Italian to reach a men’s final at a Grand Slam tournament since Adriano Panatta won the title in Paris 42 years ago.
The boys’ final at the French Open will pit top-seeded Sebastien Baez of Argentina against Chun Hsin Tseng from Taiwan.
Baez defeated Thiago Seyboth Wild of Brazil 6-2, 6-2, while Tseng advanced past second-seeded Sebastian Korda of the United States 6-2, 7-5 in the semifinals.
Rafael Nadal takes a 10-0 French Open semifinal record into his matchup at Roland Garros against 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro.
Nadal is closing in on his record-extending 11th title at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament and what would be his 17th major trophy in all.
Del Potro is playing in the French Open semifinals for the first time in nine years.
The other men’s match is No. 7 Dominic Thiem of Austria against unseeded Marco Cecchinato of Italy.
Thiem is appearing in the final four at Roland Garros for the third consecutive time.
Cecchinato had never won a Grand Slam match until this tournament. At No. 72, he is the lowest-ranked French Open semifinalist since 1999.
In 2016, Cecchinato was accused of match-fixing but an 18-month suspension was thrown out on a technicality.
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