Monday, 18 June, 2018

French Open 2018: Nadal defeats Thiem to win 11th title

Rafael Nadal ReutersRafael Nadal celebrates after winning his semi final match
Lucia Summers | 14 June, 2018, 16:35

Others - including United States former tennis great Billie Jean King and ex-male professional James Blake - praised Nadal's victory, which was dominant despite an injury scare with hand cramp in the latter stages of the third set.

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.

Following his victory on Sunday, Nadal told reporters that he isn't "crazy" about catching Federer on the all-time Grand Slam title list. After guzzling water during that break, Nadal felt better and was back to playing his unmistakable brand of almost unbeatable clay-court tennis.

"Of course I would love to have 20 like Roger in the future or even more, but it's not something that is on my mind".

"I want to think that is possible", Toni said.

But the transition from clay to grass has caused Nadal problems in the past, with injuries hampering his recent Wimbledon campaigns.

However, you will never hear Nadal echo similar brash confidence despite his straight-sets win over Dominic Thiem in the final.

And he took the biggest of big cuts on his groundstrokes, his feet leaving the ground as he threw his whole body into them as if the very outcome of the match - not any individual point, but the whole shebang depended on the strength of that one whip of his white racket.

Thiem however was able to hold serve regularly and had a chance to get back on serve but his break chance at 2-4 evaporated when Nadal hit a sublime drop shot, then passing shot.

Tyson Fury beats Sefer Seferi in comeback fight
The contest at times resembled a pantomine with Fury gurning and throwing his arms into the air through much of the opening round.

That was swatted away with Nadal's double-handed backhand, though, and the second set duly went the way of the favourite. "Bravo. To me it's been still great two weeks". That did not stop him from taking the sixth game after some treatment.

On Sunday, Nadal will go up against Austria's Dominic Thiem, the eighth-ranked player in the world and someone who has defeated Nadal before. Nadal is a huge Madrid fan, and is often seen at games.

Thiem stayed with Nadal in the early going on a cloudy and steamy afternoon; the temperature was 77 degrees (24 Celsius), the humidity approached 70 percent.

Seemingly cruising to victory, that's when Nadal called for the trainer, the second time he did it at the French Open mid-game.

He reeled off the first six points for a 2-0 lead before Thiem settled and repaired the damage for 2-2.

However, he still has plans of facing his rival again at Roland Garros even though his focus for now is winning a ninth Wimbledon title next month. Clamorous news! Roger Federer could leave Nike for the first time in more than two decades!

It was also a rematch of last year's U.S. Open final, in which Stephens topped Keys.

Halep could have been forgiven if she had made a decision to give up on her Grand Slam dream throughout this painful process.

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