Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Demolition man Nadal claims record-extending 11th French title

French Open preview Nadal-Thiem first shots will be the key Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay, Wins His 11th French Open Title
Cassandra Castillo | 10 June, 2018, 20:08

We can also see a clear dynamic across these previous match-ups.

When the trainer visited Nadal in his quarterfinal for a similar issue, Nadal said it was simply to prevent sweat from traveling to his hand.

Once again Thiem looked in despair at his support box as he was broken in the third game. Uses the space in the court well, stands close to the net and tucks the return serve away for a point.

But Thiem has form against the Spaniard.

Nadal struck 26 winners to Thiem's 34 yet made only 24 unforced errors to Thiem's 42, with "unforced errors" a relative term in Nadal Roland Garros matches.

The situation got even more perilous after the first set.

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Nadal then took the set 6-4 when Thiem hit a forehand long.

Just 45 percent of Thiem's first serves went in, compared to Nadal's 65 percent. Thiem keeps his nerves takes 40-15 lead. The Austrian leaking point after point, its all Nadal at the moment, leads 2-0. The clay of Paris is the clay of Nadal, who has fallen in victory six times to his back and thrice to his knees, plus the two occasions standing, winding up 10 times behind the baseline and one sprawled between the service boxes, living a single dream of many so very many times. He also beat the Spaniard in Buenos Aires in 2016. He likes the conditions more here than in Madrid, for sure.

Nadal came in looking slightly more vulnerable than he did past year, in which he lost only 35 games in claiming the title. Nadal and Thiem have met nine times - all of them on clay.

Thiem beat Nadal on clay twice, including last month in Madrid that ended Nadal's 21-match winning streak on clay and his streak of 50 straight sets won on his favorite surface.

Nadal won a record-extending 11th title at Roland Garros and 17th major overall Sunday when he defeated his spirited challenger, Dominic Thiem, 6-4 6-3 6-2 in Paris.

Play has begun in the men's final of the French Open, with Rafael Nadal comfortably holding serve to love in the first game.

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