GETTYRafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem go head-to-head at approximately 2pm UK time today
10 June, 2018, 22:36
The 24-year-old Austrian was playing in his first Grand Slam final, and although he pushed Nadal at times, he fell to an ultimately one-sided 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 defeat.
The number of Grand Slam singles titles now held by Nadal, who is second on the all-time list among men in the Open Era, behind Federer (20), and ahead of Pete Sampras (14), Djokovic and Roy Emerson (12 each).
On Sunday, the Spaniard will be hoping to win the 11th title in his 11th final at the clay-court Grand Slam. Only two players have ever come from two sets down to beat the Spaniard, and neither of those occasions was on his favourite surface.
After winning just one point in the first two games, Thiem dragged himself back into the contest, only to throw away the opening set with an erratic 10th game as he was broken to love.
Nadal won the first two sets.
Things look even worse when we now that Agassi is the only American in the quarter-final of Roland Garros since 1997 and it is uncertain when we are going to see the next player from the U.S. with a decent performance at the second Major of the season.
"I am sure you will win here in the next couple of years", Nadal told Thiem afterward.
GETTYSerial winner Rafael Nadal is chasing a 17th Grand Slam title
Nadal leads 4-1 in the second set.
When it was all over, Rafael Nadal raised his arms in triumph after earning another title at Roland Garros.
The signs were already ominous for Thiem at that stage because in 112 best-of-five-set matches, Nadal had never lost after taking the first set.
He saved another two in the 11-minute sixth game, a performance cheered by the crowd who briefly became more animated when glum-looking French football icon Zinedine Zidane was spotted in the stadium. After Nadal held there for 5-4, Thiem basically handed over the next game - and the set - by making four mistakes in a row.
Another feature was his ridiculously slow play when serving, nearly always over the 25-second limit and sometimes going well into the thirties.
They call him the "King of Clay".
Thiem was considered the stiffest test for Nadal at the French Open and understandably so.
"I mean, it's a big goal for me to play, soon, another Slam final", Thiem said. There is a slight chance of rain, but not until later in the afternoon after 5pm.
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At least Thiem can boast being the only man to have defeated Nadal on clay in the last two years. "It's not easy. After holding there, Nadal broke del Potro to take that set and was on his way, taking 14 of the last 17 games.
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Nadal wept after being handed the trophy by Australian legend Ken Rosewall - who won the inaugural French Open in 1968. Across the other slow-medium clay venues - Monte Carlo, Barcelona and here - Nadal has utterly schooled Thiem.
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