French Open Diary: Llorente cheers on Nadal, ex-pros fear the 'King of Clay

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Fernando Llorente turned up to give Rafael Nadal his support at Roland Garros on Friday, as the Spaniard made it into the final with a thumping win over Dominic Thiem.

Nadal swept Thiem aside in straight sets to set up a final with Stan Wawrinka, who came through a four-and-a-half-hour epic against Andy Murray.

Spain international Llorente explained that he tries to watch Nadal play as often as he can, before going on to heap praise on the 'King of Clay'.

Meanwhile, former players Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish made it clear they would rather not be on the Paris clay, and Simona Halep was reduced to sitting on the steps on Court Philippe Chatrier.

 

RAFA GETS LLORENTE LOVE

Swansea City striker Llorente was in Nadal's box as the Spaniard moved one match away from a 10th French Open title, and he had some kind words to say about his friend.

"It's the best game I've seen him play live," he said. "It was very impressive. It could seem easy but it should not be forgotten that Thiem won in three sets against Novak Djokovic, finishing with a 6-0.

"If it seemed easy it was because Rafa played very well. It's impressive.

"For Spanish sport the decima would be something wonderful. For me he is already the best Spanish sportsman in history. He is an icon. We all learn a lot from him and he helps us improve."

 

EX-PROS FEAR RAFA

While Llorente was busy heaping praise on the magnificent Nadal, a couple of American ex-pros seemed glad to have hung up their racquets as the Spaniard dismantled Dominic Thiem.

Mardy Fish tweeted: "Thank god I didn't ever play Rafa on clay. Oh and oh and oh and oh and oh."

2003 US Open champion Andy Roddick replied: "I did...... it sucked."

STANDING ROOM ONLY

The men's semi-finals were the hottest ticket in town on Friday, so much so that women's finalist Simona Halep seemingly could not get a seat on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Roland Garros' shared footage of the Romanian enjoying Wawrinka's victory over Murray from the stands.

The only issue is, Halep is sitting on the stairs. Health, safety and chivalry out the window. Get that woman a chair, she's got a final to play on Saturday!