Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
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Awe-inspiring Nadal claims record-extending 11th French Open title

Awe-inspiring Nadal claims record-extending 11th French Open title

But how about 15?

Nadal dealt with that ultimately minor inconvenience and claimed his record-extending 11th French Open championship Sunday by displaying his foe-rattling excellence in a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory over No. 7 seed Dominic Thiem.

This victory takes his total Grand Slam tally to 17, three behind Roger Federer's.

"I was court side for two sets", Bartoli told ITV. "It's fun to see how they match up and how they keep pushing each other". It is his most one-sided final win since allowing Federer just four games in the 2008 final. But Nadal himself wasn't too bothered.

"I have never been insane about this kind of stuff", said Nadal. You can't live with that feeling, no? "You have to do your way".

"So coming back and having the chance to win in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, and now especially here, it's very emotional for me".

Tennis is lucky to have Nadal. Off the court, Nadal never lacks in humility.

Just like that, Nadal was off on a five-game burst to lead 3-0 in the second set.

However, while the infrastructure of the world's four Grand Slams gets constantly upgraded, the furniture at the top of men's tennis remains bolted down. I am enjoying that moment.

Nadal avenged his defeat to the Swede at Roland Garros 12 months earlier.

In the latest edition of the Forbes highest paid athletes list the 20-time Grand Slam champion is credited with US$65 million per year in endorsements alone - enough to keep him at number seven on the business publication's annual rundown. But that's the best-of-three sets and in different, faster conditions.

"I kind of expected Rafa to win the French Open, that's not taking anything away from him, but he was again that good on clay leading into the French Open that I thought he was going to win", he told a news conference.

Nadal is now the first player in the Open Era, male or female, to win the same Grand Slam tournament 11 times, a feat that has been dubbed La Undécima, after Real Madrid's bid to win an 11th European Cup. No, no, no, I can't - I can't be always thinking of more.

Nadal also shrugged off any obsession for catching up with his long-time Swiss rival in terms of title number. The Spaniard officially withdrew before the start of his third-round match in 2016. He lost the first set, then turned things around after a rain delay. So there was mild concern when Nadal called for the trainer for treatment. It was also a rematch of last year's U.S. Open final, in which Stephens topped Keys.

The problem for the 24-year-old was that his serve wasn't co-operating.

At 4-4 Nadal hit a second serve that bounced before it reached the net, but he shrugged that off to hold. Thiem making unforced errors.

"I know how to play against him". Thiem makes his second double fault in the game. Nadal's level immediately cooled off a little, though, and Thiem worked his way back into the set as he broke back in the following service game.

Nadal faced only three break points in the two hour, 42 minute affair.

That shock exit prompted speculation that Nadal was finished as a heavyweight of the sport. But from 4-all in the opening set, Nadal grabbed five games in a row and was in charge.

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