Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

French Open champion Rafael Nadal

French Open champion Rafael Nadal

Cecchinato, who was suspended for an 18-month term in 2016 during a match-fixing investigation, says he will cherish the memories he made in the French capital after he lost to Thiem in straight sets 7-5 7-6 (12-10) 6-1.

The culmination of the second set was a tiebreak, during which Cecchinato thanks to blunders by the Tim battled back from 3:6. The Austrian won just one of the first nine points as Nadal immediately broke for 2-0.

The victor of the first set had always won this match-up in the past and after saving four break points, Austria's No. 1 eventually crumbled to fall a set and a break down.

A glimmer of hope was when the middle finger on his left hand started to cramp in the middle of the fourth game, causing him to take a salt tablet and have the strapping on his forearm to be removed, which is there to stop the sweat pouring onto his palms.

In a topsy-turvy afternoon on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Djokovic raced through the third set in just 27 minutes before requiring further medical attention, this time for a right leg injury.

Another feature was his ridiculously slow play when serving, nearly always over the 25-second limit and sometimes going well into the thirties.

A trainer was called and he briefly inspected Nadal's left wrist.

No stranger to rewriting the record books along with his friendly rival, Roger Federer, here is another feat for the Spaniard: He joined Margaret Court in becoming the only tennis players in history to win the same grand slam 11 times.

Nadal then served out that game.

Cecchinato, who had never won a Grand Slam match in his career before, goes on to face Austrian seventh seed for a place in Sunday's final. And he took the biggest of big cuts on his groundstrokes, his feet leaving the ground as he threw his whole body into them, as if the very outcome of the match - not any individual point, but the whole shebang - depended on the strength of that one whip of his white racket.

However, during the treatment Nadal revealed that he was concerned about whether he was going to be able to continue.

Two breaks later Nadal was in a familiar position, serving for the title, and when another Thiem forehand dropped long, his arms were raised in celebration, yet again. "Against Dominic Thiem, he is top 10, and today, all the people were for me".

Nadal won his sixth French Open title by defeating Federer once more in Paris.

Whilst the prestige of winning yet another major is recognition enough for the Manacor born star, he will also take home the record prize pot of 2.2 million euros.

The unseeded Hozumi and Ninomiya were the first all-Japanese duo to reach a Grand Slam final in women's doubles.

The victory also allowed the 32-year-old Spaniard to hold onto the No. 1 ranking.

The forecast says there is a chance of rain.

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