Rafael Nadal soared past Dominic Thiem in the finals clash at Roland Garros, 6-4, 6-3, 6-2, to win a record 11th French Open title. The match lasted two and three-quarter hours saw Thiem’s challenge slowly wane after he lost a breakpoint in the first set that cost him the set. From that point on, it was pretty much the Rafael Nadal Show and the audience, both at the venue and around the world were treated to his mastery of the game.
“It’s amazing now, I can’t describe my feelings,” exclaimed an elated Nadal to the crowd, after the match. His dominance of clay court tennis continued, even though his opponent has defeated him on this kind of surface three times before in previous meetings. Thiem seemed to be on course to repeat the surprise win that his compatriot from years passed, Thomas Muster, had managed back in 1995. However, stepping out onto Court Philippe Chatrier, and in the first few minutes of the game, he appeared to be in some way a little nervous about having reached this stage of the competition, in particular to face off against an opponent who has won close to 95% of the sets he has played on clay. Only 24 years of age, however, it was understandable that he would have to gain the championship experience of Nadal who is eight years his senior.
While achieving a personal best record, and the current record for most number of French Open wins by a player, Nadal also equalled the record of Margaret Court who had accumulated eleven Australian Open titles, while edging ever closer to the 20 grand slams won by fellow contemporary, Roger Federer.