Rafael Nadal Wins 11th French Open

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

King of Clay Rafael Nadal said he will have to be at his best to beat Dominic Thiem in Sunday's final at Roland Garros if he is to create more history and claim an 11th title.

If there were any reason for a bit of intrigue entering Sunday's match, it was this: Thiem is the only person to beat Nadal on red clay over the past two seasons, doing so at Rome in May 2017 and at Madrid last month.

Nadal's form never wavered, though, and soon enough he was celebrating his 17th Grand Slam title overall, second among men only to Roger Federer's 20. Thiem also defeated his rival in Buenos Aires in 2016, joining Novak Djokovic and Gaston Gaudio as the only men to have beaten Nadal three times on clay.

Rafael Nadal briefly interrupted the French Open final against Dominic Thiem in the third set with an apparent problem with his left wrist.

Nadal celebrated in relatively low key fashion, but then there is not much novelty value in this. He won the first six points and broke for 2-0.

There seemed a sense of inevitability about the contest when Nadal consolidated his lead by taking advantage in the Austrian's first service game of the second set with his fifth break-point opportunity.

In fact, Thiem is so good on clay that he has downed Nadal three times on the surface, including earlier this year at the Madrid Open.

Thiem dug in - especially in the roughly 13-minute sixth game - but he crumbled attempting to stay in the set, making four unforced errors. Serving at less than 50%, Nadal got plenty of looks at second serves. The Austrian has improved on the return serves here to equalise the game.

Unlike past year - when those first few games realistically settled things - Thiem bounced back, breaking straight away.

Seemingly cruising to victory, that's when Nadal called for the trainer.

The unseeded Hozumi and Ninomiya were the first all-Japanese duo to reach a Grand Slam final in women's doubles. There is a slight chance of rain, but not until later in the afternoon after 5pm.

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