Sunday's result marks the sixth consecutive Grand Slam won by either Nadal or 20-time major champion Roger Federer. It was an emergence that rendered each and every competitor henceforth as a mere pretender to the clay empire the Spaniard meticulously built for himself.
Rafael Nadal won his 11th French Open title on Sunday.
Cecchinato, who had never won a Grand Slam match in his career before, goes on to face Austrian seventh seed for a place in Sunday's final. He was dominant on clay and also won against Juan Martin back in 2007 in the only match played at Roland Garros.
He again also shattered Federer's hopes of becoming only the third man in history to hold all four majors.More news: How to Customize What Gmail’s Swipe Gestures Do
In Madrid, where Thiem would eventually go on to finish as finalist, he had a completely different approach.
The number of titles won by Nadal on clay, extending his lead at the top of the men's Open Era leaderboard, ahead of Vilas (49) and Austria's Thomas Muster (40). There was an urgency to his play that threw Nadal off guard.
"I want to say well played to Dominic". For me, the level is very good in this moment.
While Nadal's vicious top-spin forehand has been elevated to tennis folklore, the Austrian's groundstrokes are equally devastating.
Over the best-of-five sets on clay, Nadal improved to 111-2 - it is a figure nearly as imposing as the nearby Eiffel Tower - his lone reverses coming against Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015 at the French Open. At the same time, they were pretty safe.More news: This new blood test can predict due date and premature birth
As if the task was not daunting enough for Thiem, the early signs were even more ominous. And of course, with it being on clay, Nadal is an overwhelming favorite. In Madrid, Thiem said the key was to be positive against Nadal. And then the groundstrokes kicked in.
Dominic Tim in three sets against Marco Cecchinato and for the first time in his career he made it to the final of a Grand slam tournament. The Spaniard has done it before many times, but for the Romanian player this would be a first. I was very scared but that's sport - it was very humid.
Diego Schwartzman has come closest this fortnight to become the third man to beat Nadal in Paris. Thiem, ranked No. 7 in the world, upset second-ranked German Alexander Zverev, winning in straight sets to advance to the final.
And now he will meet Nadal in the final.
The younger challengers struggle to land a punch, and the last six men's Grand Slam titles have now gone in the sequence of Federer-Nadal-Federer-Nadal-Federer-Nadal. Even his racquet model is named La Decima (for his 10 French Open titles).More news: Former Obama Adviser Suggests Trump Is Russia's 'Chief Advocate' and Defender
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