Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem for 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

Jun 10 2018 Paris France Rafael Nadal poses with the trophy after his men's singles final against Dominic Thiem on day 15

He seemed unbeatable on the surface. The Spaniard's 11th Monte Carlo title and his eighth Rome title were his 31st and 32nd Masters titles, respectively, breaking a tie with Djokovic, who has won 30.

That's according to from former world No 1 Tracy Austin, who was speaking after Nadal picked up his 11th Roland Garros title earlier today.

Why? Nadal was 95-0 when capturing the opener on clay in the best of five format.

Rafa Nadal of Spain lost just one set on his way to winning his 11th French Open crown. He was the first man since Mats Wilander in 1982 to win the French Open on his debut.

He has now also joined Federer and Novak Djokovic in passing the $100 million prize money barrier. "Tennis is a very important part of my life, without a doubt, but is not everything". That began a run of four consecutive French Open triumphs through 2008. Two players have succeeded in defeating him, and his body let him down on a third occasion.

"It's a big goal for me to play soon another Slam finals", said the Austrian, the only man to have defeated Nadal on clay in the last two years.

Slow starts have plagued Nadal in several of his matches this fortnight, most notably against 11th-Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals.

At 4-4 Nadal hit a second serve that bounced before it reached the net but he shrugged that off to hold.

The Spaniard admitted he was "scared" when, in the third set of a one-sided final against Dominic Thiem, he had to stop mid-game and call for the trainer.

It will be a new era at the world's greatest clay-court tournament, but given how Nadal demolished a worthy opponent from the next generation on Sunday, it would be no surprise if he managed to bridge the eras. For a time, fans could nearly believe that Thiem would present a challenge in this match. The 24-year-old was beaten by Halep in the semi-finals of the French Open. Could Thiem provide us with a classic final? While serving down 4-5, Thiem played an absolutely atrocious game.

"Of course it's going to be easier because it's not going to be the first time anymore".

Thiem, mixing heavy topspin and flat groundstrokes and angling balls across the sidelines, saved a break point at 1-2 and two more at 2-3 and there were signs that Nadal was struggling with his timing - over-cooking several forehands.

At her first major in 16 months, and first as a mother, Serena Williams showed with three victories that she still has the game and the grit to go far and - even at age 36 - could be a threat to add to her 23 major titles. One down-the-line forehand victor landed right at the baseline, leaving Thiem sagging his shoulders and muttering. He wound up with 42 unforced errors to Nadal's 24.

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. Midway through the opening set, Nadal's aqua T-shirt was so soaked with sweat it stuck to him.

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