Nadal sweeps Thiem, Wawrinka edges Murray in French Open men's semifinal



Rafael Nadal rode on his unstoppable run in his quest for the 10th success at Roland Garros as he beat Austrian promising star Dominic Thiem in straight sets in the semifinals, while Stan Wawrinka labored for the other final spot after edging top seed Andy Murray through a five-set thriller at the French Open here on Friday.

Nadal managed to keep his record without losing a set en route to the final after sweeping Thiem 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in two hours and seven minutes.

Nadal led 4-2 in their head-to-head record, while losing their latest duel in the quarters in Rome three weeks ago. However, the "King of Clay" showed his dominance throughout the match and sealed the win after Thiem dumped a forehand return into the net.

He bettered his Austrian opponent in winning percentage on first and second serves, also on receiving points. He made his 10th final appearance at Roland Garros, with the nine previous all turning out into the trophy.

"I played a very good event, and today was not an exception. I started a little bit more nervous today, it was normal, but then I played well," said Nadal.

The duration of the contest between the No. 3 seed Wawrinka and world No. 1 Murray more than doubled that, finishing in a thrilling manner as Wawrinka won 6-7 (6), 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-1 after four hours and 34 minutes.

"When you play a player like Murray, you know that you can dominate the games, but he's still going to be there," commented Wawrinka.

"He's still going to do incredible defense, play the right tennis at the right moment. That's why he's No. 1 in the world," he added.

Wawrinka finished a total of 87 winners, also suffering 77 unforced errors, with 36-36 for Murray.

After the two players forced into a decider, Wawrinka geared him up for five games in a row. Murray won the only game in the sixth, before Wawrinka sealed the final spot with his signature backhand attack.

Nadal recorded a head-to-head advantage at 15-3, including 5-1 on clay, against Wawrinka.

"Now I have one match remaining against a very tough opponent. He played a very tough match this afternoon, so he will be full of confidence for Sunday," Nadal shared his view about the final with Wawrinka.

"I need to play aggressive, play long and try to not let him play from easy positions. If it's not the case, I will be in big trouble. That's my goal," he added.

Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus booked their spots in men's doubles final with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Colombian duo of Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua cruised through women's doubles semi-finals to set up a final clash with the 2017 Australian Open champions Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova.

China's Wang Xiyu and her Japanese partner Ayumi Miyamoto failed to make into the girls' doubles final as they lost to Russian duo of Olesya Pervushina and Anastasia Potapova 10-6 in the tiebreak.

Women's No. 3 seed Simona Halep and Latvian underdog Jelena Ostapenko will fight for their maiden Grand Slam glory in Saturday's final.