Rafa Nadal moved to within one victory of ‘La Decima’ at the French Open as he demolished rising Austrian Dominic Thiem 6-3 6-4 6-0 with a daunting show of force in Friday’s semi-final.
The 31-year-old Spaniard, ready to reclaim his Roland Garros crown after a two-year hiatus, dispatched the sixth seed in little more than two hours and is on the verge of becoming the first player to win the same grand slam tournament 10 times.
He faces Swiss Stan Wawrinka in Sunday’s showpiece match in what will be only his second clash with the Swiss at Roland Garros — having won convincingly four years ago.
Thiem, like fourth seed Nadal, had reached the semi-final without dropping a set and had trounced Serbian defending champion Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.
Nadal has dropped only 29 games to reach the final — surpassing his previous best of 35 in 2012 and only two more than Bjorn Borg’s record set in 1978.
The Spaniard, whose only defeat on the red dirt this year came against Thiem in Rome, then broke with a clubbing forehand and lost only three more points on serve as he sealed the set.
Thiem’s hopes of emulating compatriot Thomas Muster’s French Open triumph in 1995 were over in a flash as Nadal raced through the third set in 28 one-sided minutes.