Johannesburg - Sports fans globally agree that unpredictability is what makes sport such a marvel to watch. But one thing is certain when it comes to the French Open: Rafael Nadal of Spain is unstoppable.
Many tennis aficionados are bound to believe that the Spaniard will continue to stretch his remarkable record by winning his 11th title at Roland-Garros when he meets Austrian Dominic Thiem this afternoon.
Before the tournament started, Nadal boasted an astonishing record of 79 wins and only two losses at the French Open, where the best-of-five set format makes the 32-year-old even harder to beat.
Those two losses came against Robin Söderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015.
Söderling became the first player to beat Nadal in this competition.
This week, when Djokovic was knocked out by surprise package Marco Cecchinato of Italy in the quarter-finals, those who had crossed their fingers hoping the Serbian could stop Nadal from defending his title were disappointed.
A Nadal win will extend his Grand Slam title tally to 17, three behind his biggest rival, Roger Federer.
Nadal started his march to the final by beating Italian Simone Bolelli in his opening match. The only match he dropped a set in was in the last-eight clash against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina. He came from a set down to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2.
He showed no mercy against Argentine Juan Martín del Potro in the semifinals on Friday, winning 6-4, 6-1, 6-2. Thiem eliminated Cecchinato 7-6, 7-8, 6-1 to make today’s final.
Head-to-head, Nadal leads Thiem 6-3 before this afternoon’s final.