French Open 2018 Men's Final: Live Stream for Rafael Nadal vs. Dominic Thiem

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 10, 2018

Spain's Rafael Nadal returns a shot against Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro during their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Friday, June 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Michel Euler/Associated Press

Rafael Nadal is undefeated in the French Open men's final.

The Spanish legend has ruled the red clay at Roland-Garros for the past 13 years, and his latest quest for a championship concludes Sunday against Dominic Thiem.

Since winning his first French Open in 2005 over Mariano Puerta, Nadal has beaten six different opponents on the way to 10 titles.

Thiem, who is the No. 7 seed in the tournament, is trying to avoid the same fate Puerta, Roger Federer, Robin Soderling, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer and Stanislas Wawrinka suffered against Nadal.

              

French Open Men's Final Information

Start Time: 9 a.m. ET 

TV: NBC 

Live Stream: NBC Sports Live or NBC Sports App

   

How Nadal Will Win

Nadal's chase of an 11th French Open title has been one of his easiest, as he has dropped just one set in his six matches—to Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals. 

A year ago at Roland-Garros, Nadal cruised past Thiem in straight sets to advance to the final. In that match, the Spaniard lost seven games and didn't concede to the Austrian in the third set. 

Nadal's victory over Thiem at the 2017 French Open came weeks after losing to the Austrian at the ATP Tour Masters event in Rome.

The same trend could be followed Sunday, as Nadal fell in two sets to Thiem at the Madrid Masters 7-5, 6-3.

Nadal wasn't overpowering with his serve in the semifinal victory over Juan Martin del Potro, as he didn't record an ace in three sets. 

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 08:  Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a shot in his Men's Singles Semi Final match against Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina during day thirteen of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros on June 8, 2018 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Ian Mac
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The left-handed No. 1 seed managed the match well, as he struck for 35 winners and committed 19 unforced errors, while Del Potro had 12 more unforced errors than winners. 

In order to fend off any challenge from Thiem, the 32-year-old knows he has to play his best game, per BBC Sport.

"I know I have to play my best if I want to have chances," Nadal said. "Sunday is the day to give my best. [It] is the day to increase even a little bit more the level."

Nadal knows how to play shots on the clay more than anyone on the men's tennis circuit, and while he won't overpower Thiem with aces, he will finesse shots up and down the court to make life hard on the 24-year-old. 

           

How Thiem Will Win 

Thiem might be the best candidate to knock off Nadal since the Spaniard's reign of dominance in Paris began in 2005.

The No. 7 seed is the only player who has beaten Nadal on clay this season, and he has three wins in nine career matches against the 10-time French Open champion.

While you would think Thiem will be under pressure given his first major championship is on the line, he believes the opposite, per Ian Chadband of the tournament website.

"I think if I'm facing Rafa, I'm not the one who has the pressure," Thiem said.

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 8: Dominic Thiem of Austria during Day 13 of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros stadium on June 8, 2018 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

While Thiem may be able to play looser than some of Nadal's past French Open final foes, he still needs to put a perfect match together.

Although all three of Thiem's victories over Nadal have come on clay courts, not one was in a best-of-five-set major match.

If he puts together a comprehensive performance Sunday, Thiem has a chance of pulling off one of the biggest upsets in recent Grand Slam history.

The key for Thiem is to win the first set, just like he has in each of his six matches at Roland Garros. If he obtains momentum and confidence, he will also get some of the crowd behind him, which could work wonders in a pressure-packed championship match.

If he executes the plan of putting Nadal under pressure early, Thiem stands a chance of replicating his past wins on clay over the No. 1 seed.

However, if Thiem commits a few unforced errors and loses serve in the first set, it could be a long day for the 24-year-old.

                      

Statistics obtained from ATPTour.com and RolandGarros.comFollow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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