Thiem: I have a plan for Nadal
Dominic Thiem says he has a plan to beat Rafael Nadal if he faces the reigning champion in the French Open final.
Thiem reached his first grand slam final at Roland Garros with a comfortable defeat of Marco Cecchinato, meaning he will face Nadal if the 10-time winner gets past Juan Martin del Potro in the second semi-final.
The seventh-seeded Austrian ended Nadal's record-breaking run of 50 successive sets won on clay at the Madrid Open earlier this season, while he also saw off the Spaniard in last year's Internazionali d'Italia.
Nadal won the pair's only previous two meetings at the French Open, including their semi-final clash last year, but Thiem is confident he can upset the world number one, should he face him on Sunday.
"He has to win today. It's still very early in the match," Thiem told the media, before adding: "He's a big favourite against everybody. Still, I know how to play against him. I have a plan.
"If it's going to be him on Sunday, I will try everything so that my plan is also going to work out a little bit here and not only in Madrid or in Rome.
"If I want to beat him, I have to play that way like I did in Rome and in Madrid. But I'm also aware that here it's tougher. He likes the conditions more here than in Madrid, for sure. Best of five [sets] is also a different story.
And Thiem appeared happy at the prospect of Nadal reaching the final, pointing out that, as the underdog, he would be able to play without fear.
"If I'm facing Rafa, I'm not the one who has the pressure," he said.