Nadal - The King of Clay- Wins 11th French Open Title

Nadal - The King of Clay- Wins 11th French Open Title

Nadal - The King of Clay- Wins 11th French Open Title

But while the infrastructure of the world's four Grand Slams gets constantly upgraded, the furniture at the top of men's tennis remains bolted down.

Imperious Nadal won a record-extending 11th French Open title with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory over young pretender Dominic Thiem.

Nadal enjoyed a fast start to the encounter, winning the opening six points on his way to going 2-0 up in the first set. "I had tough moment in the third set with cramps in my hand". But as Nadal's uncle, Toni Nadal, said shortly afterwards, "this is not normal".

His service to the sport has afforded him the right to conserve fuel for when he thinks it's best utilised, and unfortunately for Nadal, his participation at Wimbledon will likely impede others from getting at the men's silverware.

Nadal is the only second player in history to win the same Grand Slam on 11 occasions after Margaret Court, who won 11 Australian Open titles between 1960 and 1973. Of course is a drastic change from clay to grass.

This year, in Madrid where the courts are faster and the flies through the air because of the altitude, Thiem launched a heavy-handed attack against Nadal and emerged a 7-5, 6-3 victor. That label can finally be left in the rearview mirror as she emerged victorious from a three-set battle with Sloane Stephens in the final.

Known as the "King of Clay", Rafael Nadal has dominated the French Open ever since his first tournament in 2005.

The 25-year-old Italian had never won a Grand Slam match before this French Open, but he beat Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals after also eliminating players seeded No. 8 and 10.

There was still fight in Thiem, though, and he had a break point when Nadal served at 4-2 ― a game in which the Spaniard was warned for taking too long to serve.

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'And then you have to be happy with the things that are happening to you, no?

Perhaps. But under so much pressure from Nadal all afternoon, Thiem made mistakes that piled up.

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.

Nadal, who also won the titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome this year, is entered for the Queen's Club warm-up tournament starting next week but says he will consult with his team, including coach Carlos Moya, over the next few days.

The problem for the 24-year-old was that his serve wasn't co-operating.

After a three-minute delay, Nadal marched back to his mark and completed the second half of a double-fault.

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

His lone opportunity of the set indeed vanished.

It was a match told in break points. The Austrian followed that point up with three consecutive errors, and the first set went to the Spaniard. Nadal appeared to take more tablets.

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