Stephens eyes 2nd Slam title, Halep 1st in French Open final

Stephens eyes 2nd Slam title, Halep 1st in French Open final

"It was a very hard first set and Juan Martin had lots of opportunities". 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. Nadal won three games in a row after returning to court, but the match was stopped again in the ninth game. "Was a match that maybe is a key match", the 16-times Grand Slam champion said.

He appeared nearly overcome with emotion after reaching his first French Open semi-final since 2009, when he was beaten by eventual champion Roger Federer. Nadal's astonishing French Open record now reads: Won 85, lost two.

But they face stiff competition in the final against Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut.

"I'm really happy that I won this Grand Slam. But I'm also aware that here it's tougher", said Thiem, the first Austrian in a major final since Thomas Muster won in Paris in 1995.

While Nadal's dominance in Paris can never be doubted, this year's inexorable march to the final has illustrated the paucity of genuine challengers, especially in the absence of Andy Murray and Roger Federer, and with Novak Djokovic being some way from his best after injury.

That's only €100,000 more - just a 4.5 per cent rise - than last year's champions Rafael Nadal and Jelena Ostapenko collected.

The 25-year-old was banned for match-fixing in 2016, a penalty overturned on appeal.

His opponent Friday will be Juan Martin del Potro, who got choked up after waiting almost a decade to return to the final four in Paris - and dealing with three wrist operations in the interim. Their semifinal is later Friday.

But the Austrian believes he is poised to break through, attempting to deflect pressure onto Nadal.

Police operation in Paris as man holds 2 hostages
Shocking photos show police decked out in body armour with a local reporter warning of "an armed man". The suspect reportedly doused two of the hostages with gasoline after the one managed to escape.

"I can not believe it now", Karin Thiem, a tennis coach, told a group of reporters.

Nadal broke Thiem in his first service game to give the 10-time champion an early 2-0 lead in the first set. In fact, Schwartzman became the first man in the tournament to win a set against the Spaniard.

But those are not quite the same as the French Open, where Nadal is 86-2 for his career.

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.

Del Potro, whose height makes him less vulnerable against Nadal's top spin, should have gone for the jugular to disrupt Nadal's well-oiled routine on Court Philippe Chatrier, said Wilander.

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.

Thiem is appearing in the final four at Roland Garros for the third consecutive time.

Halep, who assured herself of retaining the No. 1 ranking with the victory, earned a fourth chance to win her first major title. At No. 72, he is the lowest-ranked French Open semifinalist since 1999.

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