Rafael Nadal, the King of Clay, Wins His 11th French Open Title
10 June, 2018, 20:09
Thiem stayed with Nadal in the early going on a steamy afternoon. He removed the tape from his left wrist and seemed to take a tablet.
When the trainer visited Nadal in his quarterfinal for a similar issue, Nadal said it was simply to prevent sweat from traveling to his hand. After guzzling water during his visit from the doctor, Nadal was back to playing his unmistakable brand of almost unbeatable clay-court tennis.
Nadal's triumph marks the sixth consecutive Grand Slam won by either him or 20-times major champion Roger Federer.
With the two heavy favourites in the semi-finals winning, we have the final that most people during the latter stages would have wanted, Nadal v Thiem, and before I discuss the data in detail, I wanted to talk about their previous meetings a little more.
Thiem also beat Nadal in Argentina back in 2016.
"I am sure you will win here in the next couple of years", Nadal told Thiem afterward. He pounded huge serves, topping 135 miles per hour (220 kph) - about 25 miles per hour (40 kph) more than Nadal's fastest - and that translated into seven aces, but also five double-faults.
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Thiem, who is the only man to beat Nadal on clay over the past two seasons, appeared for his first Grand Slam final.
The number of titles won by Nadal on clay, extending his lead at the top of the men's Open Era leaderboard, ahead of Vilas (49) and Austria's Thomas Muster (40).
Nadal won the first two sets.
But against Thiem, there was nothing wrong with Nadal's start. He saved two of a mere three break points.
Thiem defeated Nadal in Rome a year ago and was also victorious in the duo's latest match at the Madrid Open in May.
Once again Thiem looked in despair at his support box as he was broken in the third game.
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After Nadal held there for 5-4, Thiem basically handed over the next game - and the set - by making four mistakes in a row. Thiem broke back immediately as he continued to go for his shots, and he saw off a break point to hold for 2-2.
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