Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem for his 11th French Open title

One of the rallies of the tournament

Rafael Nadal's record as the most successful player in French Open history was extended to a remarkable 11 titles on Sunday after he soundly bested Dominic Thiem in straights sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

Australia's Margaret Court is the only other player to have won the same major - the Australian Open - 11 times.

Nadal has never lost a best-of-five-set match on clay when he has won the first set, and every time Thiem has faced the world number one the victor of the first set has gone on to take the match.

Thirteen years and 17 Grand Slam titles along, with Nadal aged 32 years and one week, still, nobody has ever said anything any truer.

"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.

But at 4-5 Thiem's serve let him down badly, handing Nadal three set points.

Nadal called on the trainer to get his forearms massaged twice in the final set but even that problem failed to improve Thiem's chances of emulating fellow Austrian Thomas Muster's 1995 triumph.

With Novak Djokovic far from his best and Andy Murray still a question mark after hip surgery, per Kevin Mitchell of the Guardian, the route for the likes of Federer and Nadal is about as clear as they could hope.

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.

"If you tell me seven, eight years ago that I will be here. having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is something nearly impossible", Nadal said.

"You can't fight against the age, and you can't fight against the watch", Nadal said Sunday after defeating Austria's Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2.

German footballer Mario Gotze - who is not in Russian Federation with the national team but who scored the winning goal for his team in the final in Brazil four years ago - also paid tribute to Nadal. His emotions were on show as he shed a few tears when the national anthem of Spain was played in his honour for the 11th time, an obvious sign of what this tournament means to him.

That was swatted away with Nadal's double-handed backhand, though, and the second set duly went the way of the favourite.

He set his jaw and stared off into space, downcast, as the love poured down for Nadal after the match, but managed a smile when Nadal predicted he would win a championship here.

But Thiem, unusually standing up to Nadal's first serve, forced two break points in the next game and converted the second with a flashing forehand into the right corner. The Austrian followed that point up with three consecutive errors, and the first set went to the Spaniard. Those conditions might have contributed to the cramping that affected Nadal about two hours into the final, at 2-1 in the third set.

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