Rafael Nadal has looked incredible throughout the French Open but he faces his toughest test so far against rising star Dominic Thiem in the men’s semi-finals.
Thiem is the only player to have beaten the 14-time Grand Slam champion on clay this season, having a claimed 2-0 success in Rome prior to the French Open.
The two players have met three times on the surface this year, with Nadal winning the other two matches in straight sets and I’m anticipating another dominant performance from the nine-time champion.
Neither player has dropped a set in Paris so far and Thiem made light work of defending champion Novak Djokovic in his quarter-final match despite a close first set.
However, Nadal’s performances have been on another level and he’s won seven of the 13 sets he’s contested either 6-1 or 6-0 as he seemingly marches towards a 10th French Open title.
The Spaniard also had the benefit of just 52 minutes on court in his own last eight tie as Pablo Carreno-Busta retired through injury with the score 6-2 2-0.
The former world number one is 4/19 to claim a victory but the 21/20 on offer for a 3-0 success for Nadal is my top bet in this match-up. Thiem looks like a future Grand Slam winner and I’m convinced he’ll win the title in France at some stage, but he still isn’t the finished article and Nadal’s form and experience should see him through without dropping a set.