ATP Stuttgart: Roger Federer overcomes a slow start to beat Mischa Zverev

ATP Stuttgart: Roger Federer overcomes a slow start to beat Mischa Zverev

ATP Stuttgart: Roger Federer overcomes a slow start to beat Mischa Zverev

Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep needed strong French Open showings to hold onto their top rankings.

Ahead of the game, according to ATP, Nadal said that he will have to give his best against a player (Thiem) who is equally great.

"I was very scared", Nadal said of his wrist cramp.

Federer lost the first set to Zverev, older brother of world number three Alexander Zverev, but quickly recovered to post his sixth win in as many meetings in the series.

Thiem did at least remind Nadal of his age, saying; "I can still remember being 11 when (Nadal) won here for the first time and I watched on the TV".

Nadal also closed the gap on Federer, who won on 20 occasions, on the all-time list for most Grand Slam men's singles titles.

The lone player to defeat Nadal on clay over the last two seasons, Thiem made incremental progress by winning nine games Sunday, two more than in each of their previous meetings here. 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.

Nadal theorized that the tight wrap on his forearm had cut off his circulation, and he said the unexpected sensation scared him. Despite wracking up one title after another in Paris, it clearly still means plenty to the world No. 1. They did just that, becoming the first pair of ATP and WTA No. 1s to both win the title at Roland Garros since Jim Courier and Monica Seles in 1992. "This is going to be my first meeting in a long time and it will be important to me". I think the grass is better than in the past years. Serving at less than 50 percent in the first, Nadal got plenty of looks at second serves. "And it was, for sure, not the turning point". "It was just awful misses", said Thiem.

Thiem now needed to win three straight sets against Nadal on clay - and the lone person to do that was Djokovic in their 2015 quarterfinal.

Federer kept the pressure on his rival on the return in game five as well but Zverev refused to give his serve away, firing two more winners and bringing it home after six deuces and nearly eight minutes.

He was heard saying, "I can't move my fingers, sorry" to the match referee before he was attended by the trainer.

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