Marion Bartoli was seriously impressed by Rafa Nadal during French Open final

12 June, 2018, 20:03 | Author: Suzanne Horton
  • Rafael Nadal pulled out of the Queen’s Club tournament due to exhaustion following the French Open triumph

Rafael Nadal's stranglehold on the French Open has endured so long and remains so strong that he has even outlasted his favorite Court Philippe Chatrier stadium and will probably still be winning the title when it gets a roof in 2020.

Thiem was under the cosh, saving four break points in the first game of the third set before Nadal inevitably broke for 2-1. I didn't see much from the finals because I arrived here, warmed-up and played by myself.

The 32-year-old world number one now has 17 Grand Slam titles, just three behind great rival Roger Federer.

However, at the most inopportune of moments, Thiem's composure deserted him as a succession of unforced errors - including a simple volley into the net and a routine forehand long - handed Nadal a break to love and the opening set. It's been reported that Japanese apparel brand UNIQLO is ready to pay Federer $29 million a year for the next decade - an annual salary that is nearly four times his paycheck from most recent contract with Nike.

Wilander makes Federer favourite to win a ninth Wimbledon title though.

While boosting his Wimbledon hopes, Roger Federer's decision to skip the French Open has dented the Parisian Grand Slam event and hurt the very sport that made him a global superstar, Mats Wilander told Reuters.

He is, however, the second player overall to win a major 11 times after Australia's Margaret Court, who won four of her 11 Australian Open titles after the start of the Open Era in 1968.

Seventh seed Thiem is the only player to have beaten Nadal on clay in the past two years, and he claimed he had a plan to thwart the Spaniard in Paris.

"If you win a grand slam tournament 11 times, one single one, then this is just very exceptional and incredible", said Thiem.

Roger Federer celebrates after beating Mischa Zverev during the Stuttgart Open on Wednesday
Roger Federer celebrates after beating Mischa Zverev during the Stuttgart Open on Wednesday

Unlike past year - when those first few games realistically settled matters - Thiem bounced back, breaking straight away.

Nadal secured win No.11 at Roland Garros yesterday with a straight sets win over Dominic Thiem. He pounded huge serves that topped 135 miles per hour (220 kph) - about 25 miles per hour (40 kph) better than Nadal's fastest - and translated into seven aces but also had five double-faults.

From 4-all, 15-all in the opening set, Thiem faltered.

The first set had taken 57 minutes, in stiflingly humid conditions, but there was to be no let-up for the underdog in the second.

Seemingly cruising to victory, that's when Nadal called for the trainer, the second time he did it at the French Open mid-game.

"It's all part of the game I guess, an unfortunate part".

"It's not even a dream to win here 11 times, because its impossible to think of something like this".

True, he was obliterated by Nadal in the semi-final 12 months ago but Thiem has added more aggression to his natural claycourt weapons, specifically the forehand, as he displayed when stunning Nadal in the Madrid quarter-final.


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