Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Rafael Nadal claims record-extending 11th French Open crown

Rafael Nadal wins 11th French Open title Nadal still untouchable as he claims 11th French title
Frederick Owens | 10 June, 2018, 21:40

Number one seed Nadal continued his dominance at a tournament he has made his own since 2005, claiming victory over 24-year-old Austrian challenger Dominic Thiem in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

Nadal struck first in an enthralling opening set, breaking Thiem's first service game to take a two-game lead but they were back on serve immediately as the Austrian hit back.

Chief among those praising Nadal was defender Ramos.

German footballer Mario Gotze - who is not in Russian Federation with the national team but who scored the winning goal for his team in the final in Brazil four years ago - also paid tribute to Nadal.

Nadal said afterwards that he feared the worst when the cramp struck: 'There was a tough moment in the third set, I was very very scared but that's sport.

Became the first man with eight titles at the same Grand Slam when he beat fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the 2013 final at Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal often said that he is the top player to have missed most Grand Slams or important events in the last decade or so, always due to injuries and not a lack of motivation or something like this.

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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 can not tell how it feels to win 11 times here".

But that's the best-of-three sets and in different, faster conditions.

Nadal wept after being handed the trophy by Australian legend Ken Rosewall - who won the inaugural French Open in 1968. However, here past year in the semi-finals, Nadal destroyed Thiem, losing just seven games in a rout, but it is worth mentioning that Thiem triumphed in their last meeting in Madrid last month, in the quarter-finals.

Thiem, mixing heavy topspin and flat groundstrokes and angling balls across the sidelines, saved a break point at 1-2 and two more at 2-3 and there were signs that Nadal was struggling with his timing - over-cooking several forehands.

There was still fight in Thiem, though, and he had a break point when Nadal served at 4-2 - a game in which the Spaniard was warned for taking too long to serve. Across the other slow-medium clay venues - Monte Carlo, Barcelona and here - Nadal has utterly schooled Thiem. Serving at less than 50%, Nadal got plenty of looks at second serves.

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