Nadal is just two grand slams away from Federer's record

Nadal tells Thiem'You'll win it one day

"It is truly incredible". I feel very lucky about all the things that are happening to me. He has absolute intensity and passion for this sport. As Thiem would drop balls short, Nadal would pounce.

That left Nadal serving for the hole attach of residing, which he clinched when Thiem dragged a backhand huge on the 2nd attach of residing level. "I played the ideal match today".

"One possibility was to stop for a while and recover my body".

The 33-year-old will now head back home to Mallorca to recharge his batteries before heading to Wimbledon at the end of the month. After the second set I thought the momentum was with Thiem and somehow Nadal just grabbed it out of his hands. Nadal held at love no fewer than four times and Thiem almost matched him. Things got interesting, for a few minutes at least.

He lost four years in succession to players outside the top 100 - Lukas Rosol, Steve Darcis, Nick Kyrgios and Dustin Brown - from 2012-2015. He has won his 12th Roland-Garros title, defeating Dominic Thiem in the finals on Sunday.

"Almost everybody will tell you that he's one of the best volleyers of our game", Thiem said.

"I felt fine physically, the first set was unbelievably intense, and the second set". I have been very close to winning another title there.

"He knew he had to raise his level in the third set because Dominic might go down a little bit. Then Rafa, who won this tournament 12 times, stepped on me", Thiem commented. Afterwards, it got really tough for me.

"I never tried to think about, "Well, I'm going to catch Roger" or not". After Madrid and Barcelona, I was thinking about what I needed to do.

"There has to be a reason why he's that successful". The former Grand Slam victor Lleyton Hewitt tweeted: "I see it, but I don't believe it". I beat yesterday one of the biggest legends of our game.

"I will try my best next year again".

Fellow professionals, past and present, also chimed in with praise, with some such as Australian two-time Grand Slam victor Lleyton Hewitt saying it was hard to process what Nadal had achieved. That's what I meant yesterday. Don't give me you're too young for that. "I failed to make my biggest dream in my tennis life come true, so I don't feel that good like yesterday".

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Thiem gained just correct seven facets within the third attach of residing old to ending a depressing half-hour with one more unforced error into the in finding.

Nadal won 25 of 26 points on his serve before he was broken to cede the second set.

Federer managed to outplay Nadal in the winners department although that proved not to be enough, spraying nearly 60 unforced errors and missing a chance to at least force the fifth set and push Rafa to the limits. This is the 82nd title of Nadal's career. "I thank all the people who support me, my family, my team for their great support.".

It was a fine start from the Swiss and a smash victor in game four gave him two break points, only to be denied by Nadal who saved them both and held after a backhand error from Roger. "If not, for me, still unbelievable", Nadal said. "I want to think that for Rafael, and he has to think that too". Rafa said: "You can not be thinking "one more" all the time, otherwise you are never happy".

"I don't know what the future will bring, but I'm sure it will be bright".

"It's a motivation, yes, but it's not my obsession". If you ask me whether I would like it, of course; is it a goal in my career, no.

"Then I went to the bathroom".

"Mentally, I was down".

Roland Garros keeps changing its look and shape in the 21st century. "But for me, I always put more attention on the mental side".

French Open champion Rafael Nadal said he will play no grasscourt warm-up tournaments ahead of Wimbledon but is confident he can mount a challenge for a third title in southwest London. He has now won his last 23 matches at Roland Garros and overall is 117-2 in best-of-5 set matches on his favorite surface.

The introduction of the Next Gen Finals tournament for the best players aged 21 and under was part of an effort to make stars of the up-and-coming generation, but the global appeal of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic will be impossible to replicate. I have been able to be very close to winning another title there.


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