Dominic Thiem hails 'awesome' King of Clay Nadal after French Open defeat
14 June, 2018, 11:41 | Author: Suzanne Horton
But once a competive first set went the way of the world number one, the plan became damage limitation and Nadal's "undecima" never looked in any doubt.
"I had tough moment in the third set with cramps in my hand". What is in my mind now is I won a very important title for me.
"It's really incredible. I played a great match against a great player", said Nadal. "But in the end, it was not too hard". Thiem was hammering every ball that he could, and Nadal was responding with his classic clay court defense.
"It's definitely one of the best things somebody ever achieved in sport", Thiem told reporters.
The curtain falls on the 117th edition of the French Open.
Nadal's latest triumph also moves him to within three of Roger Federer's leading 20 grand slam titles.
By 15, he had turned professional and, two years later, won his first match against Federer. Thiem and the man he beat in the quarterfinals, 21-year-old Alexander Zverev of Germany, are the two most well-rounded rising stars in the game.
Paris - If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, he'd have to amend his belief that death and taxes are life's only certainties and add a third - Rafael Nadal winning the French Open.
His picking at the rear of his shorts and mopping of his brow, aligned with his obsessive devotion to lining up his water bottles, are parts of the Nadal DNA. A volley into the net.
Nadal now leads 2-0 in the second set, having won the first set 6-4.
The Spaniard dominated his opponent by sharpening up his forehand and unleashing wicked winners before another break of serve meant the red carpet was ready to be rolled out at 5-2. Thiem stayed with Nadal in the early going on a steamy afternoon.
Nadal won the second set in 53 minutes.
"I'd like to dedicate this victory to Jana Novotna", said Krejcikova in honor of her compatriot and 1998 Wimbledon champion who died of cancer in November previous year at age 49. "I was not (in) control of my finger".
On Sunday, Thiem was right out there at Court Philippe Chatrier, too, making his initial appearance in a major final, swapping shots with that very same Nadal. At the following changeover, he was given a salt pill by a doctor and had his left forearm massaged by a trainer. She loves the game, no question that we'll give her time off, go back enjoy herself in Bucharest.
Shortly, he'd be holding the silver trophy, the one he knows so well, and crying.
Thiem was considered the stiffest test for Nadal at the French Open and understandably so.
The crowd responded at the mention of 2005, initially offering polite applause.
The Austrian is one of just three players to down Nadal on clay at least three times. The crescendo rose to a full-throated roar for 2017.
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