Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem for 11th French Open title

Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem for 11th French Open title

With a win in the final, he will become the first man ever and the second player to win a staggering 11 titles at one Slam, a feat only achieved by the legendary Margaret Court at the Australian Open so far.

Federer (9 at Halle, 8 at Basel) and Argentine clay-court legend Guillermo Vilas (8, Buenos Aires) are the male players with the next highest number of titles at a tournament below Grand Slam level.

Nadal 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. Thiem withstood a barrage of break points to hold in a marathon sixth game, which he thought he had won at 40-30 when he left a wide ball, only for the umpire to overrule the line judge.

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.

"It's awesome, 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.

From 4-all, 15-all in the opening set, Thiem faltered.

Rafael Nadal extends his record at Roland Garros to 86 victories and just two losses.

French Open glance: Halep vs. Stephens in French Open final
However, when it's all over, Nadal will raise his arms in triumph in Paris for the 11th time and earn the championship again. But in Rome, Halep was downhearted to have lost the semifinal to Maria Sharapova perhaps due to a sustained back injury.

Nadal won the first two sets and was leading 2-1 in 3rd when he suffered a cramp which required immediate medical timeout.

Over the best-of-five sets on clay, Nadal improved to 111-2 - it is a figure nearly as imposing as the nearby Eiffel Tower - his lone reverses coming against Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015 at the French Open. But the Austrian saves two break points and wins the lengthy game anyhow.

Thiem is playing at his limit just to stay in touch.

Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters and James Bond actress Lea Seydoux have unveiled the Musketeers Cup that will be won by either Rafael Nadal or Dominic Thiem in the French Open final.

The top-seeded Nadal enters Sunday with a 10-0 record in title matches at Roland Garros and an overall career mark of 85-2 at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament.

"I mean, it's a big goal for me to play, soon, another Slam final", Thiem said.

Nadal's celebration was restrained ― throwing his arms skywards and turning to his entourage including coach and fellow Mallorcan Carlos Moya and his uncle Toni who stood down a year ago when his nephew Nadal reached La Decima. There is a slight chance of rain, but not until later in the afternoon after 5pm.

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