He will now face another Argentine, Juan Martin del Potro, in Friday's semifinal, after Del Potro conquered Marin Cilic 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 in the other quarterfinal affected by the weather. For sure he is beatable, but you have to have the level, and Dominic has the level and you have to play the ideal match and the most important thing is you can't miss the occasions that you have.
"You know when you start the clay-court season that Dominic, he's one of these players that have the chance to win every tournament that he's playing", Nadal said, "and maybe even (more so) here in Roland Garros, because he's strong physically". 'I can't give him the game. That "plan" has worked for him in the past - he is the only man to have defeated Nadal on clay in the last two years.
Across the last 12 months on clay, Nadal has held serve 88.7% to Thiem's 85.7% (3.0% edge) while breaking opponents 50.0% to 30.1% (19.9% edge), and this incredible advantage he has on return was a big factor in me pricing Nadal as a [1.17] favourite to lift the trophy today.
"It's not easy. I've been on court just a couple of minutes ago".
"I came here without big expectations", said 2009 US Open champion Del Potro who has flirted with retirement on numerous occasions after a career-long battle with wrist injuries.
"If lost that tiebreak it would have been a very close match I think and I didn't want that".
Brandon: Thiem has looked invincible throughout Roland Garros 2018 and looks likely to reach his first Grand Slam final as he takes on Cecchinato in the semis.
"To beat him on clay, I would say the only chance for any player now is to be really aggressive".
Victory on Sunday will move Nadal to just three Slams behind his great rival Roger Federer who, at 36, is more than four years older. I couldn't find the right person. Del Potro has achieved great victories this year.
Their previous match up saw the Spaniard beat del Potro in straight sets in the opening round in 2007.
Thiem was the aggressor early on and he broke in the first game before holding to love for a 2-0 lead. "Without working hard and going through tough moments and still being focused on your passion for the game it is impossible to be here".
Halep will face Stephens after the US Open victor maintained her flawless record against fellow American Madison Keys with a 6-4 6-4 win in the other semi-final.
"Not a very nice feeling", Thiem said.
Wilander believes Thiem can worry Nadal if he is prepared to "take risks" like Diego Schwartzman did in the quarter-finals when he snapped the left-hander's run of 37 consecutive completed sets won at the French Open by snatching the opener.
Second-seeded Olivier Marach of Austria and Mate Pavic of Croatia are through to the French Open men's doubles final, beating 2016 champions Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez of Spain 6-4, 7-5.
Cecchinato had never won a Grand Slam match before this year's Roland Garros but made the semis with a string of stunning wins.
Thiem sent Cecchinato scurrying around the court before breaking decisively for a 6-5 lead with a lovely forehand victor.