Croatian Cilic played an terrible game when serving for the set, making four unforced errors, but he was gifted another chance to serve for the set after breaking Del Potro again and levelled the match at the second time of asking. When play resumed Thursday, Nadal got the two points he needed to claim the set and had all the momentum from there.
Del Potro seemed to hurt his left hip during the third game of the match after getting wrong-footed and called the tournament doctor with Nadal leading 3-2.
Nadal had the crowd purring when he fired a backhand victor down the line and punched the air after showing incredible defensive skills to save one of four break points, before Schwartzman thrashed a forehand long to go a set down.
Bearing both the value and starting price in mind, I want to look at angles to try and exploit this value at a bigger price, and the handicap lines are a logical place to venture towards. I am so proud to be playing tennis.
- Dedicated his maiden Masters title at Indian Wells in March to his dog Cesar, which died the month before.More news: Organic molecules on Mars
The 6-foot-6 (1.98-meter) Argentine wiped away tears during his on-court interview, telling fans who chanted his nickname, "delPo": "It has been a long time without good feelings on my body". I mean, the crowd are awesome, and that happens very often.
Tennis missed del Potro nearly as much as he missed it.
"Del Potro has achieved great victories this year".
Thiem is the only player to beat Nadal on red clay over the past two seasons. Now he will have to go through Nadal.
I'm sticking to my guns in saying the world's second-best clay courter is a 36-year-old Swiss who opted not to play in this event, but Thiem's run to the final has cemented his status as the second-best clay court player who competed here. "But all my semifinals in Grand Slam was against them". Del Potro, who has struggled with injury, recently, may find it tough to stick with the Spaniard physically and won't have what it takes to knock off the King of Clay.
In truth, however, I'd be mightily surprised if Thiem lost this match.
-When you buy Tennis Channel Plus, your 12-month subscription gets you access to every ATP Masters 1000 tournament played outside the US, and every round through the finals of WTA Indian Wells, Miami and Cincinnati. "It's incredible for the tennis world".