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Rafael Nadal clinches record-extending 11th French Open title

10 June, 2018, 20:31 | Author: Heidi Alvarez

Nadal broke Argentinian Guillermo Vilas's 29-year record of 53 consecutive clay-court match victories by winning his first-round match at the 2006 French Open.

"In the third set I got a little bit of cramp in the hand and I was very scared", Nadal said.

We picked up a victor in Friday's semi-final with Rafa Nadal comprehensively thrashing Juan Martin Del Potro, to cover the -6.5 game handicap easily.

He bagged the second set when Thiem sent a backhand long.

But at 4-5 Thiem's serve let him down badly, handing Nadal three set points.

For Thiem, playing in his first Slam final, it was a tremendous letdown for a player who is the only man to have beaten the Spaniard on clay in the last two years.

The 31-year-old also needed a medical timeout to treat a neck injury which looked as if it would derail him when he slipped 0-2 down in the second set to the Italian outsider.

Ruthless Nadal proved far too good for Kevin Anderson as he claimed a 16th Grand Slam title at the US Open.

Thiem has won 7-5 6-3 and lost creditably 7-6 6-4 in Madrid, and won 6-4 6-3 in Rome. The multiple Spanish champion didn't lose a single set and crushed his competitor in the final while losing only seven games. The only reason it does not rank even higher in this list is that it was punctuated by several extraordinary errors by Djokovic, culminating in a shanked set-point that would have taken the match into a fifth set.

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The Romanian has played two French Open finals already and lost them both. To do so, he first had to beat Federer in the semi-final, which went all the way to five sets.

Another feature was his ridiculously slow play when serving, nearly always over the 25-second limit and sometimes going well into the thirties.

The trophy was carried into the Court Philippe Chatrier in a brown box during a brief ceremony before play begins and unveiled by the two stars of music and screen.

Thiem courageously saved three break points to start the third, yet dropped serve in his next service game. A victory Sunday would give Thiem his first career title.

The unseeded Hozumi and Ninomiya were the first all-Japanese duo to reach a Grand Slam final in women's doubles.

Thiem also beat Nadal in Argentina back in 2016.

And in 2012, he surpassed Borg's record to become the most successful player in French Open history with his seventh crown.

The No. 7-seeded Thiem, a 24-year-old from Austria, is appearing in his first Grand Slam final.

There is hope for Thiem though as both of Nadal's two losses on clay in the past two years have come against the Austrian. There is a slight chance of rain, but not until later in the afternoon after 5pm.

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