Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Rafael Nadal weighs up options after French Open glory

Rafael Nadal weighs up options after French Open glory

Nadal clinched an 11th French Open with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory against Dominic Thiem on Sunday to take his majors total to 17.

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.

However, it was not all smooth for Nadal, who missed four match points on his own serve before clinching victory when Thiem went long on the fifth. "I would tell you that's something nearly impossible, but here we are", Nadal told reporters.

"Obviously I'd like to have 20 titles like him - or more - but that's not in my head right now, and 17 is an incredible number".

Nadal, who retained his world number one ranking following Sunday's triumph in Paris, is also surprised that he and great rival Roger Federer, 36, continue to dominate the men's game.

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Seventh seed Thiem is the only player to have beaten Nadal on clay in the past two years, and he claimed he had a plan to thwart the Spaniard in Paris.

Rafael Nadal bids for his record-extending 11th French Open championship when he faces Dominic Thiem in the final.

"I still remember when you won here the first time in 2005. It is definitely one of the best things somebody ever achieved in sports".

Rafael Nadal won his record 11th French Open over the weekend, and he took home the same paycheck as women's champion Simona Halep. He lost the first set, then turned things around after a rain delay. "Because normally in the 5-4, if I could put the balls inside and make adequate decisions, it was a very good opportunity for me".

Nadal has won six of his nine matches against Thiem, all of them coming on that famously hard red clay. Nadal cruised to a 3-0 lead in the second set and didn't look back.

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

Thiem save three break points to hold his service into the third set, but the "King of Clay" responded by fully exhibiting his powerful forehand for astute winners.

"I felt something to my hand", he said. "I don't know how it's going to be but for the moment I'll be off for a few days and I'll try to get ready, recover and go to play on grass". I couldn't move the finger. "My preparation, I believe, past year went well". Of those 20, the Spaniard only won one by hitting a victor.

There was no disguising what it still means to him, though, as the tears welled up after being handed the Coupe des Mousquetaires from Australian great Ken Rosewall. "You can't always be frustrated if somebody has more money than you, a bigger house than you, if somebody has more Grand Slams than you".

"In the third set I noticed I had cramps in my left hand, I was scared because there was a lot of humidity", he explained in his post-match interview.

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Only Bjorn Borg, with six titles, comes close to matching him in Paris in the open era.

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