A rejuvenated Rafael Nadal has lost just once on a clay court this season, and he’ll get a chance to avenge that defeat Friday at Roland Garros when he goes up against Dominic Thiem in the 2017 French Open semifinals.
Here’s everything you need to know about the match:
Nadal vs. Thiem, 2017 French Open Semifinals
Date: Friday, June 9
Start Time, United States: Not before 9:30 a.m. ET (Start time is after the conclusion of Andy Murray vs. Stan Wawrinka)
TV Channel, United States: Tennis Channel, NBC or NBC Sports Network
Live Stream, United States: Tennis Channel Everywhere, NBC Sports Live Extra, or DirecTV Now. You can read here to learn how to watch a live stream of the French Open without cable
Start Time, UK: Not before 2:30 p.m. (Start time is after the conclusion of Andy Murray vs. Stan Wawrinka)
TV Channel, UK: Eurosport or ITV4
TV Channel, Worldwide: You can find a list of international broadcasters here
Nadal and Thiem have met six times previously, with every single one of those matchups coming on a clay court. The most recent, of course, came in the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters a couple weeks ago, with Thiem rolling to a 6-4, 6-3 victory to extend his record to 2-4 against Rafa.
“In Rome it was not a good day for me. I was not in a position to play well the way I wanted to,” said Nadal. “He put me in a difficult situation, so it’s up to me to avoid being put in uncomfortable situations.”
Of course, these two also met in the finals in Madrid the week before, and in finals in Barcelona in April. Nadal took both of those matches in straight sets, though the battle in Madrid was certainly a tight one, with the two men combining for just three breaks.
In other words, while there are some famous rivalries throughout the tennis world, this one is quickly gaining steam. Nadal, the King of Clay, going for his 10th French Open title. Thiem, a rising talent and arguably the second-best clay player on Tour, seeking his first Grand Slam final appearance. The 31-year-old Nadal, already established as a legend of the sport, going up against the 23-year-old Thiem, who is on his way to becoming the next superstar of the sport.
This isn’t a final, but it sure is going to feel like one.