The enormity of the situation clearly dawned on him after beating Marin Cilic in the quarter-finals on Thursday, as he sobbed tears of joy at the side of the court. I know he has great potential. "But I'm also aware that here it's tougher", said Thiem, the first Austrian in a major final since Thomas Muster won in Paris in 1995.
World 72 Cecchinato had knocked out three seeded players to reach the semi-finals‚ including 12-time major victor Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals. So I have nothing to lose tomorrow.
True, he was obliterated by Nadal in the semi-final 12 months ago but Thiem has added more aggression to his natural claycourt weapons, specifically the forehand, as he displayed when stunning Nadal in the Madrid quarter-final.
"I want to work more to go top 20".
"If I had won the second set, I think it would have been a totally different third set", he explained.
Schwartzman opened serving in the third set and lost the game while Nadal held to lead 2 - 0.
Thiem also defeated his rival in Buenos Aires in 2016, joining Novak Djokovic and Gaston Gaudio as the only men to have beaten Nadal three times on clay. "Here with Federer. It's awesome for the tennis, the tennis world".
Only two players have managed to beat Rafael Nadal at the French Open since he first bounded into Roland Garros in 2005.
Nevertheless, the 24-year-old can look back on two victories over Nadal on his favourite surface in the last 13 months, including one in Madrid just last month.
"And I have been trying and trying every day to fix my problem in my wrist". "But after the loss, I went a little bit down mentally".
Nadal's latest triumph in Paris sees him join Margaret Court, who dominated the Australian Open in the 1960s and 70s, as the only player to win 11 singles titles at one grand slam.
If Nadal's march toward an 11th championship at Roland Garros was going to be stopped on this day, things were going to have to go del Potro's way right then. "I played so many matches, so I think it is normal". "If I play defensively and I don't take intensity, I will be lost".
However‚ it was Del Potro who was in the ascendancy in the rallies in the first set.
In greenback terms that comes out at $2.6m, making it the smallest winner's prize of the year's four Grand Slam events and almost $1m less than the richest tournament the US Open which paid its 2017 winners - Nadal and Sloane Stephens - $3.7m each.
"When you don't take your chances against the No. 1 in the world, you are are in trouble", del Porto said. And the lack of experience and knowledge of being on these last rounds, that's always the risk.
Ten times he has lifted La Coupe des Mousquetaires and the "King of Clay" has looked as hungry as ever to retain his crown during yet another dominant run to an unprecedented 11th title in the French capital.