Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Nadal Wins 11th French Open Title

Thiem battled hard but could never seriously threaten NadalMore Thiem battled hard but could never seriously threaten NadalMore
Rita Gibson | 10 June, 2018, 22:36

Rafael Nadal seeks an unprecedented 11th French Open title when he faces No. 7 Dominic Thiem in Sunday's final at Roland Garros.

Dominic Thiem remembers sitting in front of a TV to follow along as Rafael Nadal made his Grand Slam final debut and won his first French Open title back in 2005.

Rain had blighted several days of the tournament to this point, but Sunday saw no showers as Nadal breezed to a victory in straight sets by a score of 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

Dejected but gracious in defeat, Thiem told Nadal and the Philippe Chatrier court that his extended record for the most men's Grand Slam wins at any tournament was "one of the most awesome things in sport".

Sunday's championship victory was as convincing and efficient a Grand Slam title as nearly any other in Nadal's epic career.

The 32-year-old Spaniard is also vying for his 17th major trophy, which would move him within three of Roger Federer.

But Thiem, unusually standing up to Nadal's first serve, forced two break points in the next game and converted the second with a flashing forehand into the right corner.

While it may be a few years until Nadal is no longer at the peak of his powers on clay, Thiem looks like a worthy successor to the Spaniard.

That was swatted away with Nadal's double-handed backhand, though, and the second set duly went the way of the favourite.

Tropical Storm Bud grows off Mexico's Pacific coast
The NHC said it's too early to tell whether the second system will pose a threat to the Pacific coast next week. The center of the storm was located about 555 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja, California.

After Roland Garros, Nadal's win-loss record on clay stands at 415-36.

Nadal is now the fourth man in the Open Era to win three or more Grand Slams after turning 30, having won his third since turning 30.

Nadal will serve for the French Open title after breaking Thiem for a second time to take a 5-2 lead in the third set. But the Austrian saves two break points and wins the lengthy game anyhow.

Whatever the problem, his dominance remained and a love game took him to 4-2 before he eventually sealed victory on a fifth match point when the Austrian fired another backhand long.

They call him the "King of Clay".

In a 10-minute second game of the second set, Thiem suffered more trauma.

Thiem is playing at his limit just to stay in touch. Further proof: He has lost only one set in the past two years at Roland Garros.

A deft drop shot earned Thiem the opportunity to break back at 4-2 as the seventh seed strived to find a chink in the armour, but Nadal quickly found a response and got the better of a spectacular rally en route to a big hold.

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