Rafael Nadal wins 11th French Open title by beating Dominic Thiem in three sets

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

Published: 10th June 2018 09:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th June 2018 12:10 AM   |  A+A-

Eleven-times French Open winner Spain's Rafael Nadal bites the trophy as he celebrates after the men's final match of the French Open tennis tournament against Austria's Dominic Thiem who was beaten in three sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France. | AP

By AFP

PARIS: Rafael Nadal claimed an 11th French Open title on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 demolition of Dominic Thiem despite a worrying injury scare in the closing stages of the final.

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

Nadal endured a nervy conclusion to the final, however, when he needed treatment in the fourth game of the third set for a finger injury before sealing victory on a fifth match point when Thiem fired a backhand long.

"It's really incredible. I played a great match against a great player," said Nadal.

"I had tough moment in the third set with cramps in my hand. I was very scared but that's sport -- it was very humid.

VIEW GALLERY: Rafael Nadal demolishes Dominic Thiem to win 11th French Open title

"To win 11 times here -- it's fantastic and not something I ever dreamed of."

Nadal joins Australia's Margaret Court as the only player to win 11 titles at the same major.

Victory also took Nadal's record at Roland Garros to 86 wins and just two losses.

For Thiem, playing in his first Slam final, it was a tremendous letdown for a player who is the only man to have beaten the Spaniard on clay in the last two years.

With a celebrity audience -- including actors Hugh Grant and Tim Roth as well as French stars Marion Cotillard and Jean Dujardin -- watching, Nadal flew out of the blocks.

He reeled off the first six points for a 2-0 lead before Thiem settled and repaired the damage for 2-2.

The Austrian speared a 222 km/h ace just for good measure in the fourth game to save a break point.

He saved another two in the 11-minute sixth game, a performance cheered by the crowd who briefly became more animated when glum-looking French football icon Zinedine Zidane was spotted in the stadium.

Despite matching Nadal forehand for forehand, Thiem was undone in the 10th game when three errors handed Nadal the opening set after 52 minutes on court.

A wild, misguided forehand sealed his fate, one of 18 unforced errors to Nadal's 12 in the set.

In their previous nine meetings, all on clay, the man who took the opening set went on to win the match.

That scenario loomed again with Nadal going to 2-0 in the second set on a fifth break point as Thiem fired another backhand wide.

Thiem wasted a break point in the seventh game as Nadal collected a time violation for taking too long to serve.

The world number one saved it and went on to secure a two sets lead when yet another backhand from the Austrian drifted wide.

Thiem was under the cosh, saving four break points in the first game of the third set before Nadal inevitably broke for 2-1.

Bizarrely, Nadal then halted playing in the fourth game complaining of pain in his left hand and stretching his middle finger.

He still won the game anyway before summoning the doctor and trainer courtside.

Whatever the problem, his dominance remained and a love game took him to 4-2 before he eventially sealed victory on a fifth match point when the Austrian fired another backhand long.

Stay up to date on all the latest Tennis news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp