Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay, Wins His 11th French Open Title

Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay, Wins His 11th French Open Title

The Spaniard beat Austrian Dominic Thiem, who was making his first appearance in a Grand Slam final, in straight sets; 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

As the sound of Nadal's ball-striking groans echoing through Court Philippe Chatrier has become one of the melodic fixtures of Paris, he has won the French Open more than anybody has won anything among the four coveted majors, with the exception of Margaret Court's 11 Australian Open titles, four won during the Open Era that began in 1968.

Roland-Garros hosted a final that told two stories, with Nadal easing to victory after surrendering only one set all tournament long, while Thiem looked noticeably short on stamina, particularly in the later stages of Sunday's decider.

There are just three weeks to go until Wimbledon; with Andy Murray's participation in doubt and Novak Djokovic off form and nursing his elbow, Nadal will surely be up there with Roger Federer as the favourites for the biggest title of the year. Between the pair, the two all-time greats have now won the last six Slams.

Despite there being a wave of momentum now carrying the Spaniard following such a deserved win over Thiem, Nadal's most hard task of the year is yet to come at Wimbledon.

His uncle thought wrapping around Nadal's left forearm was too tight.

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Nadal came in looking slightly more vulnerable than he did previous year, in which he lost only 35 games in claiming the title.

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

German footballer Mario Gotze - who is not in Russian Federation with the national team but who scored the winning goal for his team in the final in Brazil four years ago - also paid tribute to Nadal.

On a humid afternoon before a crowd peppered with celebrities from Zinedine Zidane to Hugh Grant he hardly showed signs of weakness, breaking immediately as his opponent got to grips with being in what was his first Grand Slam final. At one point finally, Thiem tried going around the post in the penultimate game, just after a Nadal cross-court backhand return seared so close over the net cord that it made the Parisians murmur. The Austrian followed that point up with three consecutive errors, and the first set went to the Spaniard. But from 4-all in the opening set, Nadal grabbed five games in a row and was in charge. Only Thiem's 2016 victory over Nadal in Buenos Aires was a success on non-quick clay.

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

In a 10-minute second game of the second set, Thiem suffered more trauma. Those conditions might have contributed to the cramping that affected Nadal about two hours into the final, at 2-1 in the third set.

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