Monday, 24 September, 2018

Imperious Nadal downs Thiem to claim 11th French Open crown

Roland Garros to stay on ITV until 2021 ITV Sport retain TV rights to French Open at Roland Garros - ITV Sport
Sidney Guerrero | 10 June, 2018, 22:33

Over the decades, those who played under the flag with stars and stripes have reached many records at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and of course at home Major in NY, but they could have never transmitted that success to Paris, winning just four titles at Roland Garros between 1989-1999.

Closing his eyes for a brief moment to take in the sounds all around him, Nadal rejoined to reality as he always does, turning to the crowd and applauding with them.

Seventh seed Thiem is the only player to have beaten Nadal on clay in the past two years, and he claimed he had a plan to thwart the Spaniard in Paris.

He dropped serve in the third and Nadal held for 3-1 after taking a time out because of a sore hand. He wound up with 42 unforced errors to Nadal's 24.

He saved three break points in his first service game but a wayward backhand ensured Nadal took the fourth.

Nadal is now the first player in the Open Era, male or female, to win the same Grand Slam tournament 11 times, a feat that has been dubbed La Undécima, after Real Madrid's bid to win an 11th European Cup.

Sunday's championship victory was as convincing and efficient a Grand Slam title as nearly any other in Nadal's epic career.

Roland Garros to stay on ITV until 2021

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.

The deeper we get into Nadal's career, the more certain it seems that he's at worst the second-best men's tennis player in history. Key in that regard was his backhand, which consistently flustered Thiem, who didn't have the same bag of tricks at his disposal. Serving at less than 50%, Nadal got plenty of looks at second serves. He evened the set at 2-2, then again at 3-3 and finally at 4-4.

In contrast, there are eight women now younger than 28 who have been Grand Slam singles finalists.

Siniakova was the doubles runner-up at last year's U.S. Open with a different partner. In fact, the Austrian remains the only one to beat Nadal on clay for two years in a row.

Prior to today's match, Nadal, 32, has won a record 10 titles in Paris and has lost only twice at the tournament since his debut in 2005. That was as close as Thiem came to putting pressure on the Spaniard.

To commemorate Nadal's record-breaking win, Nike is releasing a limited-edition T-shirt that features the number 11 and Nadal's signature logo. There is a slight chance of rain, but not until later in the afternoon after 5pm.

ICC overturns conviction of Congo warlord Bemba
Friday's ruling does not mean those crimes did not take place, but that Bemba can not be held criminally responsible for them. However, the Appeals Chamber of the ICC ruled that he could not be held responsible for crimes committed by his troops.

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    The Spaniard also won the title without losing a set, becoming the third man to do so in the Open era after Ilie Nastase and Borg. After Nadal held there for 5-4, Thiem basically handed over the next game - and the set - by making four mistakes in a row.
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