Nadal wins 11th French Open despite left hand cramp

Tanya Simon
June 11, 2018

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The 31-year-old now holds 17 Grand Slam titles, just three behind Roger Federer. Of course, I have ambition, of course.

"I want to say well played to Dominic".

The Spaniard dismissed Dominic Thiem in straight sets on Sunday.

Nadal's triumph marks the sixth consecutive Grand Slam won by either him or 20-times major champion Roger Federer.

"I've never been insane about this kind of stuff". You can't live with that feeling, no? You have to do your way. I play for my happiness, and I know that I had already, yeah, an wonderful career.

Seventh seed Thiem is the only player to have beaten Nadal on clay in the past two years, and he claimed he had a plan to thwart the Spaniard in Paris.

Can you see Thiem denying Nadal a record-extending 11th title at Roland Garros?

"I am sure, " Nadal said after the match, "you will win here in the next couple of years".

He pulled out of planned appearances in Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami before returning at the start of April for Spain's Davis Cup tie against Germany.

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Nadal had come into the year's second Grand Slam high on confidence, after wins in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome.

"He's very aggressive, with big shots", Nadal said in halting French before switching to English.

"I came back from five months without playing a full tournament". "When someone wins 11 times here, for me it's unbelievable", he told reporters. This is not a reaction we are used to seeing from him but it revealed just how much he had invested in this clay-court season, both physically and emotionally. Despite all, he returned and wrapped up the final with 6-2 win in the third set. "Of course, it's going to be easier then, a little bit, because it's not going to be the first time anymore".

He is now 86-2 at the tournament, and now has as many Grand Slam titles at the French Open (11) as greats Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver finished with in total.

If Thiem is, as he is widely regarded, the second best clay-court player in the world then he probably has a few more of these pummellings to look forward to at least until Nadal, 32, finally calls it a day. "I think he is really good". "What you did and what you are doing is the most outstanding thing that any athlete can achieve in sport".

In contrast, there are eight women now younger than 28 who have been Grand Slam singles finalists.

German six-time Grand Slam victor Boris Becker: The legend continues.

Rafael Nadal looks borderline unbeatable at the moment.

Ex-Real Madrid and Portugal footballer Luis Figo: Congratulations! Enhorabuena 11x victor Roland Garros.

It will be for the third time that Federer will become the world number one.

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