Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem for 11th French Open title

Quite simply, Nadal is the greatest player ever to grace the courts at the French Open, having won the tournament a record 10 times, including victories since 2013.

Regardless of who wins this year's Roland Garros, tennis players are in for a treat in both the men's and women's competitions.

Go ahead and 2018 to the lengthy list.

In a historic game, Rafael Nadal defeated Austrian Dominic Thiem in straight sets 6-4, 6-3,6-2 to earn his eleventh French Open championship.

After Thiem served, the trainer reappeared and massaged Nadal's forearm and wrist. "I was very scared".

The 32-year-old world number one now has 17 Grand Slam titles, just three behind great rival Roger Federer. The two stars have combined to win the past six majors.

He also regained the world No 1 ranking for the first time since July 2009.

Nadal called it "not even a dream" to gather 11 titles in Paris, saying it was "impossible to think of something like this".

The 24-year old, who is making his Grand Slam final debut, has already lost twice to Nadal in Paris, but said that he has a strategy already worked out.

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.

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

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Rafael Nadal's reign as the clay court king isn't ending any time soon. If standard play would likely lead to a loss, why not try for the spectacular, instead?

But that's the best-of-three sets and in different, faster conditions. He attempted drop shots; some worked, some didn't.

However, Djokovic levelled at 2-2 and then survived two break points - and a 30-stroke rally - in the seventh game.

The statistics made bleak reading for Zverev - he finished with 42 unforced errors and just 19 winners.

It worked. For a bit.

Dominic Thiem was vying for his first Grand Slam title on Sunday.

The situation got even more perilous after the first set.

In the 13 editions that went by, Nadal won 10.

Thiem was under the cosh, saving four break points in the first game of the third set before Nadal inevitably broke for 2-1. A forehand wide. A forehand into the net. That seemed to unsettle him and he played poor game that culiminated in a wild backhand going long to give him the lead. One down-the-line forehand victor landed right at the baseline and Thiem's shoulders sagged as he muttered to himself. Nadal and Thiem have met nine times - all of them on clay.

At least Thiem has in the past found the key to unravelling the Nadal clay court enigma.


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