Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

This one goes to 11: Nadal beats Thiem for French Open title

One of the rallies of the tournament Tennis > French OpenVIDEO-'One of the rallies of the tournament- Amazing point between Sloane Stephens and Simona Halep
Cassandra Castillo | 11 June, 2018, 01:16

World number one Rafael Nadal won an 11th French Open title by beating Austria's Dominic Thiem in straight sets.

Nadal has now won 17 Grand Slam titles - three lesser than great rival Roger Federer - and matched the all-time record of most titles won at the same Grand Slam event set by Margaret Court at the Australian Open during the 1960s and 70s.

Nadal is now the first player in the Open Era, male or female, to win 11 titles at three different tournaments, having also completed La Undécima at Monte Carlo and Barcelona in April this year.

Federer and Nadal have something else ridiculous in common: they're the only two players in men's tennis history to reach at least 11 finals in a specific Grand Slam.

Among the more absurd stats in all of sports: Nadal boasts an 85-2 lifetime record at Roland Garros.

Thiem says he is "confident" his first appearance in a Grand Slam final will not be his last.

However, it was not all smooth sailing for Nadal on Sunday, as he started suffering cramps on his left hand in the third set.

"For me, you know, if you tell me seven, eight years ago that I will be here with 32 years old having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is something nearly impossible, but here we are".

Nadal now stands at 86-2 at French Open and continues to remain unbeaten in finals in Paris. "The watch keeps going always", Nadal said.

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Nadal called it "not even a dream" to gather 11 titles in Paris, saying it was "impossible to think of something like this".

"What you did and what you are doing", Thiem told Nadal during the trophy ceremony, "is one of the most outstanding things that any athlete is doing in any sport".

"I had a lot of months with injury problems, so coming back to win is very special", he said. That led to 34 winners (eight more than Nadal), but also 42 unforced errors (18 more than Nadal).

Nadal was rampant when he broke early in the second, but Thiem raised his game to force a break point when Nadal served at 4-2 - a game in which the Spaniard was warned for slow play.

Until 4-all, 15-all in the opening set, to be precise. Nadal held for 5-4, and Thiem basically handed over the next game - and the set - with four mistakes. A forehand wide. A forehand into the net.

'So I just gonna keep fighting for things and that's it.

By then, Nadal was finding his spots.

Ramos is now in Russian Federation with the Spanish squad as they prepare for the World Cup, but took time out to tweet in Spanish, hailing Nadal for his "dynasty on clay", calling him a "tennis legend" and "sporting hero". Midway through the opening set, Nadal's aqua T-shirt was so soaked with sweat it stuck to him.

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