Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem

Rafaal Nadal

Rafaal Nadal

Rafael Nadal was at his awe-inspiring best as he crushed Austrian Dominic Thiem to snatch a record-extending 11th French Open title with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory on Sunday.

Nadal has won 17 Grand Slam singles titles, three short of Roger Federer, the tennis yin to his yang, who has won a record 20.

However, Thiem will not just have to battle the King of Clay but also nerves in his first Grand Slam final appearance.

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.

- Nadal breaks to love to clinch the opening set as Thiem undoes all of his earlier hard work with a third forehand unforced error of the game into the net.

After the match, Nadal said that the game needs Thiem and he "will win here in the next few years".

Nadal joins Australia's Margaret Court as the only player to win 11 titles at the same major.

Thiem stayed with Nadal in the early going on a cloudy and steamy afternoon; the temperature was 77 degrees (24 Celsius), the humidity approached 70 percent.

Dominic Thiem
Can Dominic Thiem win his first Grand Slam title on Sunday?CHRISTOPHE SIMON AFP Getty Images

As the saying goes, there are only three certainties in life: Death, taxes and Rafael Nadal on clay.

Thiem already suffered four double faults despite four aces at the start of the second set, while Nadal maintained all of his serves in the second set to move a step further at 6-3.

Not much more of a daunting task than doing so against this particular opponent at the French Open, where Nadal is now 11-0 in finals and 86-2 overall.

A glimmer of hope was when the middle finger on his left hand started to cramp in the middle of the fourth game, causing him to take a salt tablet and have the strapping on his forearm to be removed, which is there to stop the sweat pouring onto his palms. But the Austrian saves two break points and wins the lengthy game anyhow.

The 10-time champion is playing Dominic Thiem.

The channel's coverage of the French Open: Roland-Garros 2018 tournament is now on air, presented by John Inverdale.

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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