Rafael Nadal with the French Open title – which he won for a record extending 11th time. (Source: Reuters)
Rafael Nadal beat Dominic Thiem in straight sets on Sunday to clinch his 11th French Open title. The 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 win in two hours and 42 minutes came without fuss for the Spaniard who romped home without facing much resistance from the Austrian. Thiem tried his utmost to keep up with Nadal but failed on each instance as he fell behind at early stages in each of the three sets. While he drew back in the first, Thiem, making his maiden grand slam final appearance, threw it all away in the tenth game. Second and third sets followed the script even as an injury scare to Nadal proved not enough. In the win, Nadal created quite a few records and milestones:
# Nadal is the only man to win 11 of the same grand slam titles and the second player to do so. He matched legendary Margaret Court who had achieved the feat at the Australian Open during 1960’s and 70s. Court’s titles at her home Major came in 1960-66, 1969-71 and 1973.
# Rafael Nadal is the fourth man in the Open Era to win 3 or more Grand Slam titles after turning 30, joining Roger Federer, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall (who presented him the trophy after the win).
# Nadal has now won 11 titles at three different tournaments – an achievement held by no one else in the Open Era. Rafa has won 11 titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona – also played on clay.
# Nadal now has 17 grand slam titles – three less than Federer and is the second on the list among the male players.
# Nadal dropped just one set on course to his title at the Roland Garros. A feat he’s made thrice. Even better, he’s gone thrice without dropping a set towards the title.
# For the second straight year, Nadal leaves the clay-court season in Europe with a 24-1 record. And for a second straight year, the only blemish to that record being a defeat to Thiem. In these 25 matches, Nadal dropped just five sets.
# Nadal now has 30 matches won this year – same as that of Alexander Zverev and Thiem. Thiem has won the most number of matches this year (35-9) with Zverev second (34).