Friday, 16 November, 2018

Rafael Nadal overcomes cramp to add to French Open trophy collection

Nadal Federer fight'the watch' keep winning Slams Rafael Nadal overcomes cramp to add to French Open trophy collection
Shannon Reynolds | 12 June, 2018, 20:50

With his 17th major title, Nadal, 32, closed the gap on archrival and 20-time victor Roger Federer on the all-time list for most Grand Slam men's singles titles.

Not that 17-time Grand Slam champion Nadal, whose latest feat is all the more remarkable considering he was sidelined for several weeks this year due to injury, is preoccupied with trying to keep up with his Swiss rival.

In humid conditions in Paris, Nadal overwhelmed his 24-year-old opponent 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 - a disappointing outcome for the seventh-seed Austrian (playing in his first major final) who is the only man to have beaten the Spaniard on clay in the past two years.

Rafael Nadal saved his best until last as he demolished Dominic Thiem to seal his 11th French Open title.

But Halep not only made it to the semifinals, she beat 2017 US Open champion Stephens 3-6 6-4 6-1 in the title match on Saturday (Sunday NZT) for her first Grand Slam trophy after three losses in major finals.

"By him winning it just creates the situation I was expecting, that I have to play the finals here to get back to world number one".

In the meantime, Nadal is scheduled to compete at Queen's Club next week, before bidding for a third Wimbledon title.

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"If you tell me seven, eight years ago that I will be here with 32 years old having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is something nearly impossible, but here we are".

However, it was not all smooth sailing for Nadal on Sunday, as he started suffering cramps on his left hand in the third set. "To win a tournament at all 11 times is nearly unthinkable".

"What you have done, to win this tournament 11 times, is one of the greatest things in sport", a magnanimous Thiem told Nadal afterwards.

Less than an hour after the match was completed, demolition workers began to smash up Court Philippe Chatrier, part of the continuing redevelopment that will lead to a roof being in place over the stadium court in two years' time.

"So I am not much anxious about the future".

"I want to think that is possible", Toni said. Nadal said. "Yes, is true that in my career, I achieved much more than what I ever dreamed".

"Now I have to come back to speak with my team and decide what's better for my body". I have lost a lot of opportunities through injuries, and I know the years are going quick. To become the man with as many Grand Slam titles, such targets do not concern Rafa. "You can't be frustrated always if somebody have more money than you, if somebody have a bigger house than you, if somebody have more Grand Slams than you". Plus, consider this: Coco Gauff, a 14-year-old from Florida, beat Caty McNally, a 16-year-old from OH, in the junior final, the fourth time at the last five Grand Slam tournaments that two Americans played each other for the girls' title.

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