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French Open Takeaways: Nadal owns the clay, again

French Open Takeaways: Nadal owns the clay, again

Nadal is now the first player in the Open Era, male or female, to win the same Grand Slam tournament 11 times, a feat that has been dubbed La Undécima, after Real Madrid's bid to win an 11th European Cup. 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.

In the intense heat of battle, with Nadal seemingly occupying every metre of the tennis court, Thiem was the first to crack.

On Sunday, Thiem was right out there at Court Philippe Chatrier, too, making his initial appearance in a major final, swapping shots with that very same Nadal. But after, the Spaniard was imperious. "It's a little bit disappointing, but like I said, credit to (Marterer)".

But as soon as Nadal started downing salt tablets and undergoing hand and forearm massages at each change of ends, Thiem switched tactics and looked to extend the rallies in the hope of wearing his opponent out further. "To think that Rafael has won 11 times, it's unbelievable".

But he could not match Nadal's point-by-point consistency and intensity on Sunday.

Roland-Garros hosted a final that told two stories, with Nadal easing to victory after surrendering only one set all tournament long, while Thiem looked noticeably short on stamina, particularly in the later stages of Sunday's decider.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News.

Grass hasn't tended to favour Nadal in recent years, and the return of a fit-again Roger Federer means he'll likely relinquish favourite status in England. No, no, no, I can't - I can't be always thinking of more. Nadal has now upped his total to 17 with his latest trophy.




Once he moved two sets ahead it merely became a race against time for Nadal to finish the match off before the rain arrived.

"You can't be frustrated if somebody has more money than you, if somebody has a bigger house than you, if somebody has more Grand Slams than you", said Nadal, who will be top seed at Wimbledon. You can't live with that feeling, no?

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

Nadal's win-loss record at the French Open, his only two losses coming against Swede Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009 and against Djokovic in the quarterfinals in 2015.

"I have never been insane about this kind of stuff", said Nadal.

That was about as disheartening as it got for the world number one.

This was Nadal's 11th win at the French Open, also known as Roland Garros. For the past two years, Thiem has been threatening to encroach on Nadal's territory.

He is now entered to play the Queen's Club tournament next week.


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