He stopped short for a long moment, searching for his words, but then nodded his head with renewed determination and reeled off the rest of the response. For me it's incredible.
The 11th-seeded Schwartzman appeared to have done his homework well as he dominated the early exchanges to bag the opening set: an achievement in itself as it was the first one Nadal had lost at Roland Garros since 2015.
Rafael Nadal insists he remains as motivated as ever to add another French Open crown to the 10 he already owns. "I think the first set I was a little bit tight in the beginning, and after I just enjoyed and relaxed". "Nadal's capable of keeping this very aggressive, high-intensity level over an unbelievably long period of time". There is no difference between practices and matches.
"Everybody knows that I was close to quit this sport two years ago, but then I, for one reason, I never give up".
Del Potro will switch his focus to playing on grass, with the 29-year-old confirming he will take stock of his schedule after Wimbledon.
Thiem, the youngest man since Rafael Nadal to reach the final in Paris, reflected afterwards on the turning point of the afternoon as he ended Cecchinato's improbable fairy tale. On the second, Thiem defeated Nadal 7-5, 6-3.
Nadal, 32, has won a record 10 titles in Paris and has lost only twice at the tournament since his debut in 2005. Moreover, the Swedish former world number one thinks the Argentine can use his height to his advantage to negate the Spaniard's looping shots. He played some fantastic aggressive tennis to get through Djokovic in the quarters, just like he played unbelievable aggressive tennis to get to the quarters.
Sunday's showdown may represent Thiem's best chance of winning a grand slam so far, but the Austrian has attempted to downplay the situation by living up to his underdog tag. The Austrian tennis player had recently git the better of the King of Clay in Madrid Masters, although he had faced defeat at the hands of Nadal in French Open a year ago. "That gave me the possibility to play much better later on the match".
"Sometimes you play better, sometimes you are more nervous". "But I'm also aware that here it's tougher". Quicker clay conditions - Rome, and in particular, Madrid, seem to be something of a leveller.
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The 10-time Roland Garros champion was second-best in the first set, but the powerful Del Potro was unable to claim a solitary break as he was thrashed 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 on a glorious Friday in Paris.
Thiem said after the game.
"He was playing great, and I was playing too defensive".
Most men who face Nadal have a plan.
This was the No. 5-seeded del Potro's first semifinal at Roland Garros since 2009. Both losses came against Thiem. But he is not getting too ahead of himself.
If you listen to Thiem's coach, Gunter Bresnik, his chances of winning are akin to landing a million dollar jackpot.
They tried their best to rouse their man in the third set but it was mission impossible as Nadal, clubbing the ball as if his life depended on it, finished like a raging bull as he headed into his 24th Grand Slam final.
With that in mind, Bresnik said he did not anticipate a victory for his pupil this year.