Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay, Wins His 11th French Open Title
Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay, Wins His 11th French Open Title
Jun 10 2018 Paris France Rafael Nadal poses with the trophy after his men's singles final against Dominic Thiem on day 15
12 June, 2018, 20:50
The 32-year-old world No.1 earned a 6-4 6-3 6-2 over Austria's Dominic Thiem to retain his Roland Garros crown despite complaining of a wrist and finger injury in the third set.
The Spaniard was at his awe-inspiring best as he trampled Austrian Dominic Thiem to snatch a record-extending 11th French Open title with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win on Sunday.
Not that 17-time Grand Slam champion Nadal, whose latest feat is all the more remarkable considering he was sidelined for several weeks this year due to injury, is preoccupied with trying to keep up with his Swiss rival.
Playing the king of clay at the French Open is akin to scaling Mont Blanc without any ropes and even an intrepid adventurer from Europe's Alpine heartland found it a peak too steep as Rafael Nadal claimed an 11th title on Sunday.
Federer returned from a five-year Grand Slam drought to beat Nadal in last year's Australian Open final, then won an eighth Wimbledon and retained the Australian title in January, beating Marin Cilic in the final on both occasions.
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"So coming back and have the chance to win in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, and now especially here, yeah, it's very emotional for me". The Spaniard has had yet another dominant clay-court season as he captured four titles and lost only one match on clay this year. To win one single tournament 11 times is unimaginable.
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The 24-year-old finally reached the Roland Garros showpiece after losing in the semi-finals in 2016 and 2017.
While we have an edge here, I appreciate that backing a heavy odds-on shot isn't most people's cup of tea, so the game handicap should be a viable proposition.
Unfortunately for him, Thiem began the second set the same way he ended the first. "You could nearly see the hand start cramping up as the fingers go stiff - it's a frightful feeling", Croft said.
"Now I have to come back to speak with my team and decide what's better for my body. So it was a demanding two months for me", Nadal told reporters. It was a demanding two months for me.
Federer (9 at Halle, 8 at Basel) and Argentine clay-court legend Guillermo Vilas (8, Buenos Aires) are the male players with the next highest number of titles at a tournament below Grand Slam level. I had a tough moment in the third set with cramps in my hand.
Thiem was trying to become only the second Austrian grand slam champion after Tomas Muster's 1995 Paris triumph and played his part in the tussle that lasted two hours and 42 minutes, but was unable to sustain the high-octane tennis needed to unnerve Nadal.
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