Nadal wrapped up that set by winning the first two points played Thursday and he was on his way, never relenting.
Prevailing on Nadal's favourite court in Paris over five sets will be far harder, however.
The 16-year-old McNally, who is unseeded, beat Iga Swiatek of Poland 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4.
He saved three set points in the second before winning an epic tiebreak, something which Cecchinato has become famous for this year at Roland Garros.
The second set turned into a tight tactical battle with neither able to break serve. Rain meant that the final was completed on Monday which was tough on Djokovic who was a break up in the fourth set when the match was halted for the night.
Marco Cecchinato of Italy was defeated by Dominic Thiem of Austria during day thirteen of the 2018 French Open. Hopefully today will be an exception, and the enduringly popular Juan Martin del Potro will at least give the 10-time champion Rafael Nadal a fright. It was his 45th career clay-court title.More news: Biggest announcements from EA at E3 ft. Federation Internationale de Football Association 19, Anthem and more
Seventh seed Thiem is the only player to have beaten Nadal on clay in the past two years, and he claimed he had a plan to thwart the Spaniard in Paris. Nadal's had some challenges at Roland-Garros' championship stage over the years, but few athletes in any sport have ever been more acclimatized to a venue the way Nadal has owned the terra firma of Roland-Garros' grounds.
By contrast, Thiem was competing in his maiden major final and although he matched his illustrious opponent for large parts of the opening set, he crumbled at the crunch and never really regained his poise.
Del Potro missed six break points in the opener, including three at 4-4.
Nadal had looked imperious on his way to a 12th quarter-final at Roland Garros, but the diminutive Schwartzman played with aggressive intent to rock the claycourt king. He impressively recovered from a slow start to make the first set close. But I get closer to them, just asking who was it?
"I couldn't find the right person", del Potro said, laughing about the incident.
"The only way to beat Rafa on clay is to take risks.to over-achieve you have to over-play and risk more than you feel comfortable doing", Wilander said. Again, Nadal finished the tournament without having dropped a set.More news: North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in crisis as Donald Trump lashes out at key allies
Otherwise, he stayed steady in a 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 win over No. 3 Marin Cilic in a matchup between two past U.S. Open champions. If they play four sets or more in Sunday's final that translates to odds of [2.66] that we'll see a tie-break, and [1.62] that we won't; with three sets seeing those odds change to [3.50] and [1.40].
Second-seeded pairing Latisha Chan of Taiwan and Ivan Dodig of Croatia have won the French Open mixed doubles title for the first time.
Rafael Nadal's bid for an 11th French Open title continues with the resumption of his rain-interrupted quarterfinal against 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.
The Argentine was a break down in the third but turned it around as the errors started to creep in for Cilic, who was bidding to reach the last four for the first time here after falling in the quarter-finals previous year.
No player in history has won as many grand slam titles at a single tournament as Nadal has in Paris.
Schwartzman had a point to lead 4-2 but a forehand error allowed Nadal off the hook.More news: Anthony Bourdain's daughter performs tribute show wearing dad's gift
"Could he beat Nadal in the final, probably not, but Nadal is not guaranteed to get to the final".
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