Thursday, 21 June, 2018

King of Paris: Rafael Nadal targets a 12th French Open title

Jun 10 2018 Paris France Rafael Nadal poses with the trophy after his men's singles final against Dominic Thiem on day 15 Jun 10 2018 Paris France Rafael Nadal poses with the trophy after his men's singles final against Dominic Thiem on day 15
Lucia Summers | 12 June, 2018, 22:27

Only Margaret Court, who won 11 Australian Open crowns between 1960 and 1973, has won the same Grand Slam title as many times, but Nadal vowed to return next year to make it a record-breaking 12. Nadal's 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Dominic Thiem, who's 24, in Sunday's final gave the Spaniard an 11th title - yes, 11th - at Roland Garros and 17th Grand Slam trophy overall.

Won the French Open on debut in 2005 and a year later beat Roger Federer in the final. Plus, consider this: Coco Gauff, a 14-year-old from Florida, beat Caty McNally, a 16-year-old from OH, in the junior final, the fourth time at the last five Grand Slam tournaments that two Americans played each other for the girls' title.

Halep's coach, Darren Cahill, has said the Romanian enlisted the help of Murray's psychologist, Alexis Castorri, to help land her first major title, per Simon Briggs at the Telegraph. You can't live with that feeling.

Nevertheless, at 24 he will have other chances, although maybe not until Nadal finally calls it quits.

"It was scary", he admitted.

Became the first man with eight titles at the same Grand Slam when he beat fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the 2013 final at Roland Garros. "You can't drive yourself insane if someone has more titles".

"You can't fight against the age", he said, "and you can't fight against the watch. The watch keep going always", he said.

"If you tell me seven, eight years ago that I will be here at 32 years old having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is something nearly impossible, but here we are".

"I am not much anxious about the future".

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"I'm very happy to win the tournament".

Next on the campaign trail for Nadal is Wimbledon where he was a two-time champion in 2008 and 2010.

By 15, he had turned professional and, two years later, won his first match against Federer. He rises 45 spots to 27th after becoming the first Italian man to reach the last four of a major in 40 years.

He is now entered to play the Queen's Club tournament next week.

"It's a drastic change from clay to grass". The clay of Paris is the clay of Nadal, who has fallen in victory six times to his back and thrice to his knees, plus the two occasions standing, winding up 10 times behind the baseline and one sprawled between the service boxes, living a single dream of many so very many times.

"I am 32. That's how I feel".

Nadal's triumph marks the sixth consecutive Grand Slam won by either him or 20-times major champion Roger Federer.

Federer (9 at Halle, 8 at Basel) and Argentine clay-court legend Guillermo Vilas (8, Buenos Aires) are the male players with the next highest number of titles at a tournament below Grand Slam level.

"If you tell me, seven, eight years ago, that I will be here with 32 years old having this trophy with me again, I will you that it is something nearly impossible", Nadal said afterwards.

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