Same result, different day for French Open champion Rafael Nadal

Same result, different day for French Open champion Rafael Nadal

Imperious Nadal won a record-extending 11th French Open title with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory over young pretender Dominic Thiem.

After Simona Halep won a maiden grand slam in the women's singles yesterday, what chance does Dominic Thiem have this afternoon of making it a weekend of first-timers? Those two players have the most (Federer, 20) and third most (Sampras, 14) Grand Slams titles in the history of men's tennis.

But he remains philosophical about the rest of his career which has so far yielded 17 majors, 79 titles in total as well as more than $100 million in prize money.

For the second year running Federer opted against playing at the French Open to spare his knees, but will be favorite to win Wimbledon next month and re-establish a four Grand Slam gap over Nadal on the list of all-time collectors of major titles.

This year, Nadal dropped just one set in the entire tournament. That's the sixth time in the fourteen French Opens he's played that he's lost one or fewer sets. He also lost just one in 2007 and 2012.

Even when Nadal showed a sign of weakness, undergoing repeated treatments to an arm cramp in the third set, Thiem was unable to capitalise as like a wounded lion, Nadal immediately upped the tempo in order to bring proceedings to an end as quickly as possible. "And, of course, it was not nice to lose the first set, but still it was not a key point of today". In case you can't do that math in your head that's less than two sets per tournament - and that includes the three times he didn't win the title.

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The King of Clay has done it again.

We delve into the archives to explain why Nadal is one of the greatest, following his latest triumph in Paris.

The square-shouldered Austrian tried his best to engage with Nadal rather than let Nadal's avalanche of statistics overwhelm him.

The 24-year-old finally reached the Roland Garros showpiece after losing in the semi-finals in 2016 and 2017. Maybe, just maybe, fans could get an entertaining French Open final-something that has been sorely lacking in this era of Nadal's absolute dominance. With the victory, Nadal retained his world number one ranking.

Some wishful anticipation had been made of the fact that, 30 days prior, Thiem had beaten Nadal on the clay of Madrid, but Thiem reminded everyone Friday that the clay of Madrid is not the clay of Paris. The Spaniard is a routine victor at the other clay tournaments on the ATP World Tour.

It was his only appearance before winning the Masters title in Monte Carlo in April, backing that up with victory at the Barcelona Open and another Masters title in Rome.

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