Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

French Open 2018: Nadal defeats Thiem to win 11th title

French Open 2018: Nadal defeats Thiem to win 11th title

Rafael Nadal is weighing up his options ahead of Wimbledon following his latest French Open triumph.

World number one Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem 6-4 6-3 6-2 to lift the French Open title for an 11th time. Midway through the opening set, Nadal's aqua T-shirt was so soaked with sweat it stuck to him.

"It's really incredible. I played a great match against a great player", said Nadal. I want to enjoy the moment. But that is sport.

"I have a lot of other things that make me happy, so I am not much anxious about the future".

Won his second Grand Slam of 2017 at Flushing Meadows after a 10th French Open title in June. He's a good friend, one of these players that the tour needs.

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.

The 32-year-old Spaniard had wrapped up his 17th major, taken his career earnings beyond the US$100 million mark and extended his record in Paris to 86 wins and just two defeats.

Nadal has now won three Grand Slam titles since turning 30 and only three men - Federer, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, who handed over the Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy on Sunday - have managed more, having done it four times. He is also assured of keeping his number one ranking for good measure.

As if the task was not daunting enough for Thiem, the early signs were even more ominous. 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.

Thiem was under the cosh, saving four break points in the first game of the third set before Nadal inevitably broke for 2-1.

It was the only blow he landed all afternoon.

But beating an imperious Nadal at his favourite slam was too big an ask for the 24-year-old. He had the trainers visit his chair repeatedly, which may have supplied some viewers with mild intrigue.

It made no difference as the punishment continued, with Thiem looking up to his coach and shrugging as another forehand whistled past him.

"Sometimes, I see many, many players - even good players, top players - they go on the court against Rafa on clay, or Roger on hard court or any other surface, and you can nearly see that they don't really believe 100 percent that they can win", said Robin Soderling, who pulled off French Open upsets of Nadal in 2009, and Federer in 2010.

When another Thiem forehand dropped long, Nadal's arms were raised in celebration, and soon he was biting the trophy once again in his trademark pose.

"It's not even a dream to win here 11 times, because its impossible to think of something like this".

The couple recently Wednesday during a low-key ceremony in west London, and the two have wasted little time in enjoying married life. He rises 45 spots to 27th after becoming the first Italian man to reach the last four of a major in 40 years.

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