French Open: Rafaen Nadal makes it 11 Roland Garros titles & stays World No.1

Rafael Nadal wins the French Open for an 11th time
Rafael Nadal wins the French Open for an 11th time

Rafael Nadal beat Dominic Thiem in straight sets to claim a remarkable 11th French Open title and retain his world number one spot.

Nadal took two hours and 42 minutes to complete a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory over a game Thiem who provided tough opposition than the scoreline sggested at times.

It was always clear who the king of clay was though as Nadal combined his tireless running with his brutal power hitting in yet another Roland Garros masterclass.

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.

But once a competitive first set went the way of the world number one, the plan became damage limitation and Nadal's 'undecima' never looked in any doubt.

In fact the only thing to trouble Nadal unduly was a tightening up of his arm midway through the third set.

"I had to be very aggressive, he's a very difficult opponent," said Nadal.

"I had a tough moment in the third set when I had a little bit of cramp. I was a little bit scared. But that is sport. It was very humid and he pushed me to the limit.

"I'm very happy to win the tournament. Dominic is a good friend, but I played my best match today, in the final."

If Thiem is, as he is widely regarded, the second best clay-court player in the world then he probably has a few more of these pummellings to look forward to at least until Nadal finally calls it a day.

Nadal's incredible record in Paris now reads 86 wins and two defeats. He has won every final he has reached, and in those 11 showpieces he has dropped just six sets.

Nadal is now level with Margaret Court for the record of the most titles at a single grand slam, while his total of 17 overall brings him closer to Roger Federer's 20. He is also assured of keeping his number one ranking for good measure.

The only thing that could stop Nadal winning again was an injury. So there was mild concern when Nadal called for the trainer for treatment.

It made no difference as the punishment continued, with Thiem looking up to his coach and shrugging as another forehand whistled past him.

A gracious Thiem said: "I can still remember being 11 when (Nadal) won here for the first time and I watched on the TV.

"So I never expected one day I would play the final, so I'm really happy. I loved the tournament. I hope that soon I will get a chance."

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