Rafael Nadal claims record-extending 11th French Open crown

Women's final preview Third time lucky for Halep? Can Stephens upset world No 1

Tennis > French OpenVIDEO- French Open women's final preview Third time lucky for Halep? Can Stephens upset world No 1

Rafael Nadal bagged a record-extending 11th French Open title on Sunday with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 thrashing of Dominic Thiem even as he faced injury scare late in the final.

Nadal threw his arms skywards and turned to his entourage including coach and fellow Mallorcan Carlos Moya and his uncle Toni, who stood down from his coaching role a year ago after his nephew worn his 10th French crown.

Diego Schwartzman has come closest this fortnight to become the third man to beat Nadal in Paris.

But it ultimately proved a futile mission as, just like in all but two of Nadal's previous 87 matches here, the incredible Spaniard proved invincible, winning 6-4 6-3 6-2.

The 32-year-old Spaniard is only the second player to hold the record, after Margaret Court had won the Australian women's singles title 11 times.

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.

Nadal said he expects to see Thiem back in a final one day - and with a different result.

"You can win a set, but not a match against Rafa", said Del Potro keen not to over-egg any hint of weakness in Nadal's game.

"Rafael Nadal on Chatrier in the final of Roland Garros - no man has won this match", he added.

Rafael Nadal speaks out after 11th French Open win
In 2003, at the age of 16, Nadal became the youngest man to reach the third round of Wimbledon since Boris Becker in 1984. Rafael Nadal described his performance at the French Open past year , when he didn't surrender a set, as "perfect".

Why? Nadal was 95-0 when capturing the opener on clay in the best of five format.

Thiem didn't think that loose game to end the first set was as crucial as it might seemed to everyone else.

He led by two sets plus a break early in the third when the middle finger on his racket-wielding left hand was cramping so badly he couldn't straighten it. In the fourth game of the third set, he had the physio attend to his left hand because a finger cramp was making it hard for him to grip the racquet.

Nadal still trails great rival Roger Federer by four major titles although the Swiss star is more than four years older.

"What you did and what you are doing", Thiem told Nadal during the trophy ceremony, "is one of the most outstanding things that any athlete is doing in any sport". Federer, who skipped the clay-court season, plans to play Wimbledon next month to chase No. 21.

The Spanish world No.1 defeated Dominic Thiem in straight sets on Sunday to secure his second consecutive championship in Paris.

Nadal, however, averted danger with a pass after dragging Thiem in with a deft drop-shot.

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

Nadal is so dominant and so impervious on clay, in general, and at this tournament, especially, it made sense for Thiem to go for broke as much as possible, accepting that there would be risks along with the rewards. When he first halted play, Nadal removed that tape, which he said let his circulation improve.

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