Nadal, Thiem meet in final at Roland Garros

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Rafael Nadal could take revenge on Dominic Thiem in men's singles final of the 2018 French Open, while Chinese player Yang Zhaoxuan and her partner Chan Hao-Ching of Chinese Taipei failed to secure their spots in women's doubles final in Paris on Friday.

Thiem remained the only player to have defeated Nadal on clay prior to Roland Garros, winning the duel in the quarterfinals at ATP Madrid Masters, snapping Nadal's streak of 50 straight sets won on clay.

Thiem withstood huge challenge from Italian underdog Marco Cecchinato in the first two sets of Friday's semifinal, winning 7-5 and 7-6 (10) respectively, before easing through the third set 6-1.

"The second-set tiebreak was the big key to the match, 100 percent, because obviously he felt all the matches from these two weeks after that. If he would have won the tiebreak, he would be full power in the third set," said Thiem.

"He's a big favorite against everybody. Still, I know how to play against him. I have a plan. I will try everything to make my plan also go to work out a little bit here and not only in Madrid or in Rome," he anticipated a final against Nadal.

Following Thiem's victory, Nadal also secured his 11th appearance in the final at Roland Garros after seeing off fifth-seeded Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4, 6-1, 6-2.

"It was a good second and third set for me, and a good hold in the first. Good tactics and mentality in the first set give me the possibility to play much better later in the match," said Nadal.

Nadal became the second man in the Open Era to reach the final at one Grand Slam event on 11 occasions after Roger Federer, who has reached 11 Wimbledon finals.

"He's been a very complex opponent, and one of the best players in the world on this surface. I hope that I can win," Nadal commented on Thiem.

Yang and Chan lost to Japanese pair of Hozumi Eri and Ninomiya Makoto 6-2, 6-2 in semifinals in 63 minutes.

"We hoped to give opponents much pressure from the net, but that didn't work quite well because of their excellent moving, and they managed to apply their tactics into the match," Yang pointed out.

Hozumi and Ninomiya will face Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of Czech Republic in Sunday's final.

Women's world No. 1 Simona Halep will chase her first Grand Slam title in Saturday's final against U.S. Open titleholder Sloane Stephens.

Local favorites Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut will battle for men's doubles champion against No. 2 seed Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic.

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