Nadal Wins 11th French Open Title, Equals Margaret Court’s Record

Paola Ditto
Giugno 14, 2018

When he first halted play, Nadal removed that tape, which he said let his circulation improve.

"I'd love to have 20 like Roger in the future or more, but it is not something in my mind". Overall, the 32-year-old has won 17 Grand Slam championships - the four most important tennis events held annually in France, United States, Britain and Australia. Nadal said last week that he wanted to keep playing for a while, and if his body co-operates, 15 seems like a realistic possibility.

"He managed to do it well".

Sunday at the French Open sees Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem take to the courts in the men's singles final, and our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, is back to preview the encounter.

Thankfully for Nadal - less so for Thiem - he was able to finish the job and continue his remarkable domination at Roland Garros with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory. But I never have been insane about all this kind of stuff.

When asked if he will defend the title next year, he said: "It was incredible to win for the 10th time, same thing for the 11th".

Thiem says he is "confident" his first appearance in a Grand Slam final will not be his last.

If there were any reason for a bit of intrigue entering Sunday, it was this: Thiem beat Nadal on red clay at Rome in May 2017 and again at Madrid last month.

Victory also took Nadal's record at Roland Garros to 86 wins and just two losses.

"It was the best match tournament of me".

Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts as he plays Austria's Dominic Thiem during the men's final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium Sunday
Nadal has no 'obsession' to hunt down Federer tally

For the 22-year-old Czechs, it was their first Slam title.

Others - including USA former tennis great Billie Jean King and ex-male professional James Blake - praised Nadal's victory, which was dominant despite an injury scare with hand cramp in the latter stages of the third set.

His picking at the rear of his shorts and mopping of his brow, aligned with his obsessive devotion to lining up his water bottles, are parts of the Nadal DNA.

Tears welled in the eyes of the now 11-time champion as he was applauded by the crowd.

Nadal will remain at the top of the ATP rankings ahead of Roger Federer.

Nadal also did not win the title in 2016, as he withdrew with an injury before his third-round match.

Nadal was at his dominating best right from the start of the match until a he sat out for a couple of minutes when he didn't feel his finger, in the third set. At the following changeover, Nadal was given a salt pill by a doctor and had his left forearm massaged by a trainer. Serving at less than 50% in the first, Nadal got plenty of looks at second serves. He bagged the second set when Thiem sent a backhand long.

But if you think it's going to be a simple Sunday stroll for Nadal to get this 11th French Open title, consider that his opponent is a fitting foe on the final stage. For all the hand-wringing in years past over what would happen to USA women's tennis after the Williams sisters, they seem to be in pretty good shape.

However, this was against a different Nadal, in his 24th slam final and at a place where only two men have beaten him over the five-set format in his entire career.

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