The second semi-final of the day sees nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal taking on one of the most promising tennis stars in Dominic Thiem. The Austrian faces his toughest test yet against Nadal and you should not rule him out just yet as he has already defeated the Spaniard this year and defeated Novak Djokovic to reach the semi-finals.
Thiem is the only man who has defeated Nadal on clay this year and this match is perfectly set up as both men are yet to drop a set at the French Open. Despite Thiem getting the win over Nadal at the Italian Open, the Spaniard will be the favourite to make it the final but you can expect him to be finally tested after he cruised to the semis.
Nadal might also be at a slight advantage as he played only one set and two games from the second set in the quarter-finals as Pablo Carreno-Busta was forced to retire due to an injury.
The Spaniard has dominated the clay court season winning the Monte Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open and the Madrid Open and should he reach the final, he will be expected to win his tenth French Open title. Ahead of the match, Nadal admitted that his match against Thiem is going to be tough and said playing deep balls could be the difference.
"Thiem is a tough player. We can talk about statistics for hours, but what is important is to consider the match. "He hits the ball very hard. He's very powerful on both sides. Forehand, backhand, serve. These weapons are quite good. He has a huge potential to tap into and doesn't give you a lot of options. I will have to play deep balls, you have to put him in uncomfortable situations," Rolandgarros.com quoted Nadal as saying.
Prior to defeating Nadal at the Italian Open, Thiem lost to him twice this year already, first in the finals of the Barcelona Open and then at the Madrid Open.
"It's going to be the fourth match against him in five or six weeks. There's not really big secrets. He's again in his best shape. So it's going to be the toughest match you can imagine. I think its better there is one day off. In Rome, I was not only tired from the match against Rafa, but also from before. I think it's going to be different. I feel much better now than in Rome," Thiem said.
The two have only met six time in the past and all their meetings have come on clay with Nadal leading their head to head record with four wins. With Nadal looking to win his tenth title here and the unpredictability of Thiem, it's not going to be easy to tell how this match might pan out but we can certainly expect both players to give it all.
Where to watch
The French Open semi-final between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem is set to start at 3:30 pm local time, 7:00 pm IST and 2:30 pm BST.
TV and live streaming information
India: TV: Star Sports Select HD1. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
Europe: TV: EuroSport. Live Streaming: EuroSport Player.
UK: TV: ITV. Live Streaming: ITV Hub.
Canada: TV: TSN. Live Streaming: TSN TV.
USA: TV: Tennis TV and NBC Sports. Live Streaming: NBC Sports Live.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Foxtel.
Middle East: TV: Bein Sports Arabia. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.