'Physically easier to watch Nadal on TV', says beaten Thiem

  • 'Physically easier to watch Nadal on TV', says beaten Thiem

'Physically easier to watch Nadal on TV', says beaten Thiem

Nadal stormed to a straightforward three-set win over Nadal at the French Open previous year in the final four as the Spaniard went on to improve his stunning record at the Grand Slam.

Rafael Nadal has defeated Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to win a record-extending 11th title at the French Open.

And while Roger Federer and his 20 Grand Slam titles have him planted atop the all-time list of tennis greats, Nadal winning the Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy for the 11th time was a reminder that the debate between him and Federer is not quite done.

2-nd player after Australia's Margaret Court to win a single Grand Slam title 11 times.

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.

Nadal was unrelenting against the Thiem serve, earning 17 break points and winning five as the Austrian sprayed 42 unforced errors during the match. The final match at Roland Garros against Nadal was likely never going to be one of those moments for him.

There hasn't been a more sure bet in men's tennis than the clay court dominance of Nadal over the past 13 years.

Rafael Nadal suffered a cramp which required immediate medical timeout
Rafael Nadal suffered a cramp which required immediate medical timeout

Nadal then took the set 6-4 when Thiem hit a forehand long.

Thiem's fighting spirit was evident in abundance - he continued to put pressure on Nadal through his return game, while consistently scrapping to stave off perilous positions on his own serve - but ultimately the Spaniard's quality and, often, his sheer force of will, won the day.

-Nadal argument. This French Open was a reminder that Nadal is still playing at peak form, bringing to mind what LeBron James has done 15 years into a remarkable career.

Thiem is in trouble as Nadal breaks to take a 2-0 lead in the second set. Nadal had another massage at 5-2 and he ended Thiem's ordeal on his fifth match point when the Austrian returned long.

Thiem, mixing heavy top-spin and flat groundstrokes and angling balls across the sidelines, saved a break point at 1-2 and two more at 2-3 and there were signs that Nadal was struggling with his timing - over-cooking several forehands. Nadal's "La Decima" was his 10th French Open, and he managed it without dropping a set throughout the tournament. Of those 86 victories, 78 have come when Nadal has won the first set, after which he has never lost a match on Parisian clay.

The No. 7-seeded Thiem, a 24-year-old from Austria, is appearing in his first Grand Slam final. There is a slight chance of rain, but not until later in the afternoon after 5pm.