Sport

Rafael Nadal wins another French Open crown

Rafael Nadal wins another French Open crown

Nadal's celebration was restrained ― throwing his arms skywards and turning to his entourage including coach and fellow Mallorcan Carlos Moya and his uncle Toni who stood down previous year when his nephew Nadal reached La Decima.

For the second year running Federer opted against playing at the French Open to spare his knees, but will be favorite to win Wimbledon next month and re-establish a four Grand Slam gap over Nadal on the list of all-time collectors of major titles.

The Spaniard also won the title without losing a set, becoming the third man to do so in the Open era after Ilie Nastase and Borg.

Nadal's latest triumph in Paris sees him join Margaret Court, who dominated the Australian Open in the 1960s and 70s, as the only player to win 11 singles titles at one grand slam.

Prior to today's match, Nadal, 32, has won a record 10 titles in Paris and has lost only twice at the tournament since his debut in 2005.

"You can win a set, but not a match against Rafa", said Del Potro keen not to over-egg any hint of weakness in Nadal's game.

Playing the king of clay at the French Open is akin to scaling Mont Blanc without any ropes and even an intrepid adventurer from Europe's Alpine heartland found it a peak too steep as Rafael Nadal claimed an 11th title on Sunday.

In full control of the French Open final, a rather familiar position for him, Rafael Nadal suddenly was anxious.

The Austrian had trouble with the Nadal serve, and he gave up an easy hold.




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. Nadal's level immediately cooled off a little, though, and Thiem worked his way back into the set as he broke back in the following service game.

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

"Tough moment", Nadal would say later.

The top-seeded Nadal won the match 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 at Roland Garros in Paris against Thiem, a 24-year-old who is ranked No. 7. He is, after all, the only player to beat Nadal on red clay each of the past two seasons.

Perhaps. But under so much pressure from Nadal all afternoon, Thiem made mistakes that piled up.

In a 10-minute second game of the second set, Thiem suffered more trauma.

He bagged the second set when Thiem sent a backhand long.

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. When he first halted play, Nadal removed that tape, which he said let his circulation improve. 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.


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