Rafael Nadal lifts record 11th French Open title

11 June, 2018, 02:09 | Author: Suzanne Horton

Spain's Rafael Nadal defeated Austria's Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the French Open on Sunday to win the season's second Grand Slam for a record 11th time. Thiem broke the Spaniard's serve in the third game of the match, nullifying Nadal's early break but earned only one more break point - which was saved by Nadal.

Nadal called on the trainer to get his forearms massaged twice in the final set but even that problem failed to improve Thiem's chances of emulating fellow Austrian Thomas Muster's 1995 triumph.

After the victory - which saw Nadal claim his 17th Grand Slam title in total, just three behind Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 - social media was quick to laud the 32-year-old's staggering achievement.

Some wishful anticipation had been made of the fact that, 30 days prior, Thiem had beaten Nadal on the clay of Madrid, but Thiem reminded everyone Friday that the clay of Madrid is not the clay of Paris.

Rafael Nadal duly collected his 11th French Open title here on Sunday with a brutal, brilliant, resilient and ruthless performance, just as he had done 10 times before.

Nadal beat the Austrian 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in a match the he dominated from the very start.

A few hours earlier, as Nadal and Thiem warmed up, the booming voice of the announcer at Court Philippe Chatrier detailed the bona fides of both.

But at 4-5 Thiem's serve let him down badly, handing Nadal three set points.


It was more of the same in the second, as Nadal won the opening three games in quick time to take a commanding lead he would never relinquish.

"He said "you have got to play as if you're going to be in the finals, with the same sort of aggressive play" and Andy went on to win majors".

Nadal came in looking slightly more vulnerable than he did a year ago, in which he lost only 35 games in claiming the title.

Federer was on the receiving end of another major defeat as Nadal landed his first Wimbledon title - 9-7 in the fifth set and in near-darkness. A volley into the net.

Once he moved two sets ahead it merely became a race against time for Nadal to finish the match off before the rain arrived.

By then, Nadal was finding his spots. One down-the-line forehand victor landed right at the baseline and Thiem's shoulders sagged as he muttered to himself.

The punishment continued, with Thiem by now looking up to his coach and shrugging as another forehand whistled past him.

The tears that welled up when Nadal received the Coupe des Mousquetaires from Australian great Ken Rosewall showed just how much he still cares.

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