Rafael Nadal's remarkable Roland Garros reign continued as the world number one clinched an 11th French Open title with a straight-sets win over Dominic Thiem on Sunday. There is nothing to suggest Nadal's domination on the Parisian dirt will end any time soon. "I was very scared".
Play has since resumed and Nadal now leads 4-2 in the third set. The impairment scare didn't set him back. The trainer massaged Nadal's forearms twice but it was still not good enough to halt the Spaniard and the job was complete when Thiem's backhand sailed long. Key in that regard was his backhand, which consistently flustered Thiem, who didn't have the same bag of tricks at his disposal.
Dominic Thiem couldn't get near the veteran on the day, despite the fact the Austrian had been the only player to defeat Nadal on Clay during this current season.
Just 45 percent of Thiem's first serves went in, compared to Nadal's 65 percent. Nadal finished with 24 unforced errors compared to Thiem's 42, and he racked up a 16-8 advantage in net points.
"And the strength that he has and the mentally, everything is ideal, works flawless for him playing in clay". He remains undefeated in the French Open once he reaches the semifinals.
A year later he exacted his revenge over the Swede, but this time in the final for his fifth Roland Garros title. They should name the stadium after him at this point.
By the numbers - Rafael Nadal 86-2 at Roland Garros
Thiem courageously saved three break points to start the third, yet dropped serve in his next service game. At 4-4 Nadal hit a second serve that bounced before it reached the net but he shrugged that off to hold.
On a humid afternoon before a crowd peppered with celebrities from Zinedine Zidane to Hugh Grant he hardly showed signs of weakness, breaking immediately as his opponent got to grips with being in what was his first Grand Slam final. It's being referred to as "undécima" - Spanish for "the eleventh".
Nadal joins Australia's Margaret Court as the only player to win 11 titles at the same major.
The 32-year-old Nadal now has 86 wins and only two losses on the clay courts at Roland Garros.
The feat is unmatched in tennis history.
While it may be a few years until Nadal is no longer at the peak of his powers on clay, Thiem looks like a worthy successor to the Spaniard.
He was unusually emotional, too. Another forehand victor from Nadal followed, and this time Thiem looked up toward his coach and yelled.