Roland Garros to stay on ITV until 2021

Tanya Simon
June 10, 2018

Paris: Rafael Nadal hailed his 11th French Open title as "just incredible" after he demolished Austria's Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 despite a worrying injury scare in the closing stages of Sunday's final.

Nadal will serve for the French Open title after breaking Thiem for a second time to take a 5-2 lead in the third set.

There was late anxiety for Nadal as the predicted thunderstorms loomed and he needed his left forearm massaged after beginning to suffer from cramp.

Nadal has never lost a best-of-five-set match on clay when he has won the first set, and every time Thiem has faced the world number one the victor of the first set has gone on to take the match.

Federer (9 at Halle, 8 at Basel) and Argentine clay-court legend Guillermo Vilas (8, Buenos Aires) are the male players with the next highest number of titles at a tournament below Grand Slam level.

Thiem was still on the back foot in the third set, being forced to save four break points in the first game.

Over the decades, those who played under the flag with stars and stripes have reached many records at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and of course at home Major in NY, but they could have never transmitted that success to Paris, winning just four titles at Roland Garros between 1989-1999.

"I am sure you will win here in the next couple of years", Nadal told Thiem afterward.

Dominic Thiem is the only man who has gotten the better of him on clay in the last two years. Thiem clawed his way back to deuce, but Nadal claimed victory on his fifth match point after the Austrian sent a backhand return long.

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The protests have seen thousands gather to demand the right of return to their families' lost homes or lands, now in Israel. This year, the protests take on added significance after the United States recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Either Federer or Nadal has captured each of the last six Grand Slam championships.

Nadal then served out that game.

Slow starts have plagued Nadal in several of his matches this fortnight, most notably against 11th-Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals.

Halep has lost in her two previous appearances at the French Open finals, in 2014 and 2017.

As the saying goes, there are only three certainties in life: Death, taxes and Rafael Nadal on clay.

After Nadal won the first, there was an air of inevitability. After guzzling water during his visit from the doctor, Nadal was back to playing his unmistakable brand of almost unbeatable clay-court tennis.

Nadal had 12 unforced errors.

Thiem was 11 at the time. There is a slight chance of rain, but not until later in the afternoon after 5pm.

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