Rafael Nadal Wins 11th French Open Title

Sunday at the French Open sees Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem take to the courts in the men's singles final, and our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, is back to preview the encounter.

Rafael Nadal celebrates his 11th French Open win.

Nadal is now the first player in the Open Era, male or female, to win the same Grand Slam tournament 11 times, a feat that has been dubbed La Undécima, after Real Madrid's bid to win an 11th European Cup.

The 32-year-old world number one now has 17 Grand Slam titles, just three behind great rival Roger Federer.

"It's unbelievable now, I can't describe my feelings", Nadal told the crowd on Philippe Chatrier Court moments after capturing his 17th Grand Slam trophy with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory.

Across the last 12 months on clay, Nadal has held serve 88.7% to Thiem's 85.7% (3.0% edge) while breaking opponents 50.0% to 30.1% (19.9% edge), and this incredible advantage he has on return was a big factor in me pricing Nadal as a [1.17] favourite to lift the trophy today.

Thiem's best results also have come on clay.

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

Nadal's 17th major title inevitably brought questions about his ultimate career goals.

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"If you tell me seven, eight years ago that I will be here. having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is something nearly impossible", Nadal said. "I am sure you'll win here in the next couple of years".

- Nadal comfortably beats his compatriot for an eighth French Open but the hard yards were achieved in the semi-finals when he defeated Djokovic 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7, 9-7 in a 4-hour 37-minute epic.

Dominic Thiem was vying for his first Grand Slam title on Sunday. Nadal had another massage at 5-2 and he ended Thiem's ordeal on his fifth match point when the Austrian returned long.

But Nadal held with some clever drop shots and after taking the second set it merely became a race against time to finish off Thiem before the rain arrived.

Nadal is so dominant and so impervious on clay, in general, and at this tournament, especially, it made sense for Thiem to go for broke as much as possible, accepting that there would be risks along with the rewards.

He joined Australia's Margaret Court as the only player to win 11 titles at the same major, while the victory also took his record at Roland Garros to 86 wins and just two losses.

Why? Nadal was 95-0 when capturing the opener on clay in the best of five format.

After winning just one point in the first two games, Thiem dragged himself back into the contest, only to throw away the opening set with an erratic 10th game as he was broken to love.

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