By the numbers - Rafael Nadal 86-2 at Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal French Open

Rafael Nadal French Open

Nadal won a record-extending 11th title at Roland Garros and 17th major overall Sunday when he defeated his spirited challenger, Dominic Thiem, 6-4 6-3 6-2 in Paris.

In claiming a 17th Grand Slam title, Nadal matched Margaret Court's record of titles at a single major ― hers all coming at the Australian Open.

Rafael Nadal duly collected his 11th French Open title here on Sunday with a brutal, brilliant, resilient and ruthless performance, just as he had done 10 times before.

The younger challengers struggle to land a punch, and the last six men's Grand Slam titles have now gone in the sequence of Federer-Nadal-Federer-Nadal-Federer-Nadal. I played my best match of the tournament, it's unbelievable and I'm very happy'.

Despite there being a wave of momentum now carrying the Spaniard following such a deserved win over Thiem, Nadal's most hard task of the year is yet to come at Wimbledon. At the following changeover, he was given a salt pill by a doctor and had his left forearm massaged by a trainer.

Nadal celebrated in relatively low key fashion, but then there is not much novelty value in this.

His lead was reminiscent of their semifinal at the French Open previous year, when Nadal also held the early advantage.

"I still remember when you won here the first time in 2005".

German footballer Mario Gotze - who is not in Russian Federation with the national team but who scored the winning goal for his team in the final in Brazil four years ago - also paid tribute to Nadal.

The Austrian hit straight back to inflict an eleventh break of the tournament on the Spaniard as the first set became a mixture of brilliance and attrition, with the first seven games taking 45 minutes.

The second set was wrapped up as Thiem sent a backhand into the tramlines but the Austrian refused to capitulate and managed to save four break chances in the opening game of the third.

After winning 26 of his 27 matches throughout the European claycourt season and 81 of his last 86 sets on clay, there is nothing to suggest Nadal's domination in Paris will end soon.

There was no disguising what it still means to him, though, as the tears welled up after being handed the Coupe des Mousquetaires from former great Ken Rosewall. When a return went long on a fifth match point, Nadal raised his arms in joy.

At 2-1 in the fourth set, Nadal stopped serving during a game because he couldn't straighten his left middle finger.

Why? Nadal was 95-0 when capturing the opener on clay in the best of five format. Thiem broke the Spaniard's serve in the third game of the match, nullifying Nadal's early break but earned only one more break point - which was saved by Nadal.

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    By the numbers - Rafael Nadal wins record 11th French Open title

    Up a break at 2-1 in the third set, Nadal stopped serving after a fault because he couldn't straighten his left middle finger. The Austrian is never one to hide his frustration, but then the sheer relentlessness of Nadal on clay would wear anyone down.

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