Rafael Nadal Lifts Record 11th French Open Title


"What you did and what you are doing is the most outstanding thing that any athlete can achieve in sport".

Halep, Caroline Wozniacki and Garbine Muguruza remained the WTA's top three, but French Open runner-up Sloane Stephens went from No 10 to a career-high No 4.

On Monday, the tournament presented Nadal with a gift, two hands with 11 fingers and the slogan, "11 is supernatural". Across the other slow-medium clay venues - Monte Carlo, Barcelona and here - Nadal has utterly schooled Thiem.

In some ways, Nadal's opponent on Sunday - 24-year-old Dominic Thiem from Austria - fit the bill as the giant-killer.

But Nadal himself wasn't too bothered.

"So I never expected one day I would play the final, so I'm really happy". You can't live with this feeling. You have to do your way. "Actually, when he won here the first four or five times, I was always watching it".

Thiem did at least remind Nadal of his age, saying; "I can still remember being 11 when (Nadal) won here for the first time and I watched on the TV". For a time, fans could nearly believe that Thiem would present a challenge in this match. Off the court, Nadal never lacks in humility. He was treated by his trainer and soon took on the court to make it 6-2 in the third and final set.

Still, Nadal was able to complete the job on court Philippe-Chatrier. Holding the trophy during the awards ceremony, he wept.

Defeated world number two Andy Roddick to guide Spain to the Davis Cup title in 2004. Nadal said last week that he wanted to keep playing for a while, and if his body co-operates, 15 seems like a realistic possibility. For all the hand-wringing in years past over what would happen to USA women's tennis after the Williams sisters, they seem to be in pretty good shape.

World number one Rafael Nadal beat Dominic Thiem in three sets to claim his 11th French Open title.

This historical analysis doesn't lend itself to fancying Thiem's chances of denying Nadal an 11th French Open title this afternoon, and neither did my model pricing either.

"It's unbelievable, I can't describe my feelings because it's not even a dream to win here 11 times", said an emotional Nadal after the final.

Slow starts have plagued Nadal in several of his matches this fortnight, most notably against 11th-Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals.

Just like that, Nadal was off on a five-game burst to lead 3-0 in the second set.

He had breezed through his opening four matches without dropping a set - extending his own personal best to 37 consecutive sets here - though falling short of Bjorn Borg's all-time record of 41 by losing the opener of his quarter-final against Diego Schwartzman. He lost the first set, then turned things around after a rain delay.

Two breaks later Nadal was in a familiar position, serving for the title, and when another Thiem forehand dropped long, his arms were raised in celebration, yet again.

"Yes, and it's going to take probably one or two more years", said Gunter Bresnik, Thiem's coach. Thiem broke back immediately as he continued to go for his shots, and he saw off a break point to hold for 2-2.

Nadal is 50-2 on the surface in that span. Overall the tally was a mere 58%.