French Open 2018 Schedule, Live Stream and Prediction for Men's Final

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2018

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 8: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates his victory in semi-final 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

Rafael Nadal, known as the King of the Clay, is one win away from clinching a remarkable 11th French Open title on Sunday.

Dominic Thiem is the man who stands between the Spaniard and yet another title at Roland-Garros after making his way to the final of a Grand Slam event for the first time in his career. The Austrian beat Nadal in the final of the Madrid Open earlier this year.

However, in a best-of-five-sets contest in Paris, Nadal is a different proposition entirely and will be difficult to beat in this one. If Thiem can pull off a victory, it would be one of the biggest surprises in a men's Grand Slam final in recent years.

A tremendous spectacle is on the cards in the French capital. Here's a look how to tune in to the contest and a preview of one of the highlights of the sporting calendar.

        

Date: Sunday, June 9

Time: 2 p.m. (BST),  9 a.m. (ET)

TV Info: Eurosport 1 (UK), NBC (U.S.)

Live Stream: Eurosport Player (UK), NBC Sports App (U.S.)

         

Nadal on Course for Title No. 11

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

An 11th win at Roland Garros would not only further secure Nadal's status as the finest clay-court player to ever walk the earth, but it would also take him on to 17 Grand Slams. That would leave him just three behind Roger Federer, who has 20.

In this competition, he's only lost twice in his 13 appearances. And despite not being as dynamic as he once was, the Spaniard remains irrepressible at the French Open.

Damir Dzumhur, who made it to Round 3 of this year's tournament, was full of praise for the top seed ahead of his latest final appearance in the French capital:

The dominance Nadal has showcased here has been extraordinary. Throughout the competition, there's only been one occasion when he's appeared in trouble: in the quarter-finals against Diego Schwartzman. But he eventually came through that one in style too.

His semi-final win against the dangerous Juan Martin del Potro was a masterclass in how to dispatch a quality opponent on clay. Nadal stood up to some huge hitting from the Argentinian early on before taking control and grinding down his rival.

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 8: Dominic Thiem of Austria celebrates his victory in semi-final 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

In Thiem, he will take on an opponent who has given him some issues already in 2018. The seventh seed shone in the final in Spanish capital, getting the better of Nadal in straight sets. 

As Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated noted, the Austrian is seeking to break the stranglehold a select group of players have had on the majors in recent years:

According to Jose Morgado of Record, if anyone is going to beat the defending champion on this surface, then it may well be Thiem:

"If I want to beat [Nadal], I have to play like I did in Rome and in Madrid," the underdog said, per Simon Briggs of the Daily Telegraph. "I'm also aware that here it's tougher. He likes the conditions more here than in Madrid, for sure, and best-of-five is also different story. Of course there is pressure because I went a very long way now, and I don't want to lose the final."

Despite Nadal's dominant displays at Roland Garros, there have been times in the tournament when he's been a little slow getting started. 

Nadal has been in cruise control on his way to the final.
Nadal has been in cruise control on his way to the final.XIN LI/Getty Images

Thiem needs to capitalise if that's the case again and try to become just the second player to take a set off Nadal at Roland-Garros this year. If he can do that, his confidence starts flowing and the pressure bites on Nadal a little, then he may have some joy.

Still, Nadal has the quality, the energy and the experience to cope with any scenario at Roland-Garros. With that in mind, you would back him to find a way to win this one.

           

Prediction: Nadal to win in four sets.

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