BSP-32 French Open men’s semi-finals — at a glance

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BSP-32

TENNIS-FRA-OPEN-MEN-SEMIFINALS-GLANCE

French Open men’s semi-finals — at a glance

PARIS, June 7, 2018 (AFP) – Friday’s French Open semi-finals — at a
glance:

Rafael Nadal v Juan Martin del Potro

Head-to-head: Nadal leads 9-5

Nadal

— Bidding to win 11th French Open, which would tie Margaret Court’s all-
time record of most singles titles won at a single Grand Slam.

— Has never failed to win Roland Garros after reaching semi-finals, but
joked on Thursday that he “is a human person”.

— The 32-year-old won record 11th Monte Carlo and Barcelona titles earlier
this year and has an 84-2 winning record in Paris.

— Victory in the final would make him the third player to make $100
million in prize money after Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

He says: “I don’t have any obligation to win, first thing. Second thing, if
you don’t feel the pressure, it’s because you don’t love the sport.”

Del Potro

— Is playing in the semi-finals for the first time since 2009 after years
of injury woe.

— Has had wrist surgery four times.

— His nine wins over players ranked world number one is a record for
players to have never been No 1 themselves.

— The Argentinian has some of the most partisan fans in tennis, but became
angered by a Marin Cilic supporter’s supposed hissing while he was serving in
his quarter-final win.

— Dedicated his maiden Masters title at Indian Wells in March to his dog
Cesar, which died the month before.

He says: “I had surgery three times on my wrist and I was close to quitting
this sport. I don’t have words to explain what this means to me and my team.”

Marco Cecchinato v Dominic Thiem

Head-to-head: First meeting

Cecchinato

— First Italian man in 40 years to reach Grand Slam semi-final after
stunning 12-time major winner Djokovic in last-eight

— In 2016 was suspended for 18 months by the Italian tennis federation
having been accused of fixing. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

— Had never won a match at the Slams before this year’s Roland Garros

— Ranked at 72, guaranteed now at least to be at 27 (and seeded for
Wimbledon)

— Lowest ranked Roland Garros semi-finalist since number 99 Andrey
Medvedev in 1999

— Could become first Italian man to win Paris title since Adriano Panatta
in 1976

He says: “I would sign with blood to win against Thiem and reach the final
even if I were to lose against Nadal.”

Thiem

— Into third semi-final at Roland Garros

— Completed six months mandatory national service with Austrian military
in 2014

— Only man to have defeated Nadal on clay this year

— Girlfriend is French star Kristina Mladenovic

— In past, has trained by carrying tree trunks on his back to build
physique He says: “I think for me it’s time to move on to make a great step,
because I’m turning 25 (in September). I’m not that young anymore.”

BSS/AFP/ARS/2000 hrs