Rafael Nadal Wins The French Open 2018

Sunday's French Open final followed a similar pattern as Rafael Nadal once again emerged victorious on the Roland Garros clay, marking his 11th success in the competition over the course of his illustrious career.

After Simona Halep won a maiden grand slam in the women's singles yesterday, what chance does Dominic Thiem have this afternoon of making it a weekend of first-timers? Thiem also defeated his rival in Buenos Aires in 2016, joining Novak Djokovic and Gaston Gaudio as the only men to have beaten Nadal three times on clay.

At 2-1 in the fourth set, Nadal stopped serving during a game because he couldn't straighten his left middle finger.

The trophy was carried into the Court Philippe Chatrier in a brown box during a brief ceremony before play begins and unveiled by the two stars of music and screen. In Madrid, Thiem said the key was to be positive against Nadal.

He still occasionally inconvenienced the reigning champion, not least when a deft drop shot brought up a point to break back at 2-4.

But against Thiem, there was nothing wrong with Nadal's start. However, here previous year in the semi-finals, Nadal destroyed Thiem, losing just seven games in a rout, but it is worth mentioning that Thiem triumphed in their last meeting in Madrid last month, in the quarter-finals. So there was mild concern when Nadal called for the trainer midway through a game, requiring treatment on what looked like cramp in his hand.

Nadal had a brief moment of weakness in the first set, when the 24-year-old Austrian broke him in the third game.

Nadal called it "not even a dream" to gather 11 titles in Paris, saying it was "impossible to think of something like this". The Austrian has improved on the return serves here to equalise the game.

In contrast, there are eight women now younger than 28 who have been Grand Slam singles finalists.

The Spanish world number one took his Roland Garros win-loss record to 86-2 as he captured his 17th Grand Slam title by demolishing the seventh seed, who was hoping to become the second Austrian to win at Roland Garros.

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