Nadal bids for 11th French Open title, facing Thiem in final
10 June, 2018, 22:34
Over the decades, those who played under the flag with stars and stripes have reached many records at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and of course at home Major in NY, but they could have never transmitted that success to Paris, winning just four titles at Roland Garros between 1989-1999.
The No. 7-seeded Thiem, a 24-year-old from Austria, was appearing in a major final for the first time.
Nadal has won each of the finals he has contested at Roland Garros, and has won 11 of the last 14 French Open titles.
The Spaniard has been in fine form at Roland Garros and underlined his role as favourite with a crushing win against Juan Martin del Potro in the semi-finals.
Up a break at 2-1 in the third set, Nadal stopped serving after a fault because he couldn't straighten his left middle finger.
It was a match told in break points. That led to 34 winners (eight more than Nadal), but also 42 unforced errors (18 more than Nadal). He continued his momentum following the medical timeout, and managed to convert his fifth match point on Thiem's poor backhand in the eighth game. This season no other player, not even the undisputed King of Clay, can count as many match wins on the red dirt as Thiem.
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Play has begun in the men's final of the French Open, with Rafael Nadal comfortably holding serve to love in the first game. Nadal finished off the second set in less than 50 minutes and was only a few games away from the inevitable.
Nadal is looking as comfortable as ever on the Philippe Chatrier court where has previously won the title 10 times.
Nadal's celebration was restrained ― throwing his arms skywards and turning to his entourage including coach and fellow Mallorcan Carlos Moya and his uncle Toni who stood down previous year when his nephew Nadal reached La Decima.
Nadal's introduction included a year-by-year accounting of every time he'd already won the title at Roland Garros.
The 32-year-old Spaniard is also vying for his 17th major trophy, which would move him within three of Roger Federer. The losses came against Thiem at Rome in May 2017 and at Madrid last month. There is a slight chance of rain, but not until later in the afternoon after 5pm.
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Nadal storms to 11th French Open title
Play has begun in the men's final of the French Open, with Rafael Nadal comfortably holding serve to love in the first game. Nadal then served out that game. "I am sure you will win here in the next couple of years", Nadal told Thiem afterward.
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