Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Rafa Nadal wins 11th French Open title

Rafa Nadal wins 11th French Open title

It rarely is for Nadal at a place he has lorded over the way no other man ever has at any Grand Slam tournament.

On Sunday, Nadal will go up against Austria's Dominic Thiem, the eighth-ranked player in the world and someone who has defeated Nadal before.

Victory also took Nadal's record at Roland Garros to 86 wins and just two losses.

Key statistics: First serve percentage - Nadal 65%, Thiem 45%.

"Not that I did that previous year, but on grass margins are very slim and it's not so simple, especially when you haven't played for three months".

The Spaniard won the clay-court Grand Slam for the 11th time at Roland Garros on Sunday - beating Dominic Thiem 6-4 6-3 6-2 in the final.

The Spaniard now inches closer to Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 Grand Slam titles.

Rafael Nadal looks borderline unbeatable at the moment.

In 2017 tennis went back to the future.

Nadal then served out that game. At the following changeover, Nadal was given a salt pill by a doctor and had his left forearm massaged by a trainer.

Thiem didn't think that loose game to end the first set was as crucial as it might seemed to everyone else. She was the first reigning women's champion to lose her opening match at the French Open since 2004.

Nadal is now the first player in the Open Era, male or female, to win 11 titles at three different tournaments, having also completed La Undécima at Monte Carlo and Barcelona in April this year.

Nadal won the first set 6-4. He played a great two weeks.

Nadal won the second set in 53 minutes. Could Thiem provide us with a classic final? The two stars have combined to win the past six Slams.

Thiem's serving and shot-making under pressure were among his principle weaknesses in losing the first set.

A few hours earlier, as Nadal and Thiem warmed up, the booming voice of the announcer at Court Philippe Chatrier detailed the bona fides of both.

A wild, misguided forehand sealed his fate, one of 18 unforced errors to Nadal's 12 in the set.

Yet Nadal also knows he could be a threat after playing impressively past year before falling in the last 16, losing a classic tussle against Luxembourg's Gilles Muller.

Maybe nerves were a factor in Thiem's performance.

The crowd cheered when Zidane was shown on the big screen.

Thiem started the match quite poorly.

Just like that, Nadal was off on a five-game burst to lead 3-0 in the second set. He converted the second to make the score 2-1.

As Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports notes, men have not always been the bigger draws as Grand Slam events. For the last 14 years, he hasn't relented.

They knocked out the top-seeded pair of Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in the quarterfinals.

Spain's Rafael Nadal was down a set and a break against the Argentinian Diego Schwartzman in the quarter-finals.

He beat the Swiss master, Roger Federer, when he was just 17 years old.

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