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Rafael Nadal clinches 11th French Open title in ‘Claywalk’

10 June, 2018, 21:39 | Author: Tommie Newton

If there was a scare for Nadal it was an outbreak of cramp in his left hand in the third set, which he managed to shake off, like everything else this fortnight. In the other semi-final, Marco Cecchinato's unusual run in the last two weeks was ended by Dominic Thiem, also in straight sets, although the first two sets were somewhat closer than anything Del Potro could muster.

"I want to say well played to Dominic".

It's incredible, I can't describe my feelings.

Fair enough Thiem was demolished by Nadal in last year's semi-final in Paris but today's seventh seed has added more aggression and self belief to his game.

There was grunting and there was timewasting that was, again, overlooked by overgenerous umpiring, but ultimately there can be no arguing that he remains peerless when it comes to the brown dirt.

Nadal condemned his great rival to his worst ever loss in a Grand Slam event with a 6-1 6-3 6-0 victory over Federer.

Federer was on the receiving end of another major defeat as Nadal landed his first Wimbledon title - 9-7 in the fifth set and in near-darkness.

Max Verstappen fastest in both practices at Canadian GP, Brendon Hartley 12th
Team-mate Sainz put the back end of his auto into the wall early in the afternoon and managed just nine laps . He said after Practice Two: "I would say that Mercedes' pace was really fast today".

The number of consecutive sets won on clay by Nadal, breaking the previous record for most consecutive sets won on a single surface by McEnroe, who won 49 on carpet in 1984. And it was a seventeenth Major trophy overall.

But from the moment Nadal broke serve in the 10th game to win the opening set Thiem's belief ebbed away.

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

"I know how to play against him".

In a 10-minute second game of the second set, Thiem suffered more trauma. Like so numerous pretenders, Thiem just did not have quite the same level of consistency to derail the Spaniard, who ruthlessly targeted his flowing backhand. Serving at less than 50%, Nadal got plenty of looks at second serves.

Nadal endured a nervy conclusion to the final, however, when he needed treatment in the fourth game of the third set for a finger injury before sealing victory on a fifth match point when Thiem fired a backhand long.

Federer (9 at Halle, 8 at Basel) and Argentine clay-court legend Guillermo Vilas (8, Buenos Aires) are the male players with the next highest number of titles at a tournament below Grand Slam level.

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