It's beyond a dream, Nadal says of 11th French Open title

It's beyond a dream, Nadal says of 11th French Open title

It's beyond a dream, Nadal says of 11th French Open title

Thiem was considered the stiffest test for Nadal at the French Open and understandably so.

Why? Nadal was 95-0 when capturing the opener on clay in the best of five format.

"I think that's a bit of extra motivation but then again, having lost here in the first round [last year] for me it resets the goal as well, just take it one step at a time and don't think too far ahead". In 2009, he was upset by big-hitting Robin Soderling in the fourth round.

He has now also joined Federer and Novak Djokovic in passing the $100 million prize money barrier. What is in my mind now is I won a very important title for me.

The 2012 French Open runner-up tested positive for letrozole - a substance used in the treatment of breast cancer - in an out-of-competition test in February 2017. Nadal, who had some shaky starts this year at Roland Garros, was well aware of the threat, and he was focused and ferocious from the start.

Until 4-all, 15-all in the opening set, to be precise.

11 is the number of times he has won in French Open final.

In a 10-minute second game of the second set, Thiem suffered more trauma.

The next few games were an absolute treat for fans of clay court tennis. It was his 45th career clay-court title. For a time, fans could nearly believe that Thiem would present a challenge in this match.

Even this year, injury has continued to hound Nadal with a hip problem forcing him to quit his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic. Could Thiem provide us with a classic final?

The Austrian speared a 222 kilometers per hour ace just for good measure in the fourth game to save a break point.

With the first set in the bag, Nadal loosened up and won the second set fairly convincingly.

Thiem, competing in his first major final, was second best in the next set as he was edged out in a gruelling second game for the only break of serve. One down-the-line forehand victor landed right at the baseline, leaving Thiem sagging his shoulders and muttering.

A wild, misguided forehand sealed his fate, one of 18 unforced errors to Nadal's 12 in the set.

In fact the only thing to trouble Nadal unduly was a tightening up of his arm midway through the third set.

The 16-time Grand Slam appeared to be coasting in the third, but a break up at 2-1, the Spaniard began to struggle with what appeared to be cramp in his middle finger. It clearly impacted his serve moving forward, but not his ground strokes.

Grant and Eberstein's outing to the home of French tennis to watch Nadal's latest clay court triumph followed the pair's recent visit to the high-speed glitz and grandeur of the Monaco Grand Prix at the end of last month.

Nadal condemned his great rival to his worst ever loss in a Grand Slam event.

He reeled off the first six points for a 2-0 lead before Thiem settled and repaired the damage for 2-2. Who would have thought a decade ago this rivalry would still be going strong.

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