Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Rafael Nadal speaks out on catching Roger Federer's Grand Slam haul

Rafael Nadal speaks out on catching Roger Federer's Grand Slam haul

Imperious Nadal won a record-extending 11th French Open title with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory over young pretender Dominic Thiem.

"For sure, me, I'm confident that this was not my last Grand Slam final, " Thiem said, "and that's my biggest goal: to get into the next one and then to do better than today".

The 2018 French Open came to an end on Sunday, and while the men's side of things provided no surprises whatsoever, the women's event culminated in the crowning of a first-time Grand Slam champion.

Unlike previous year - when those first few games realistically settled things - Thiem bounced back, breaking straight away.

Nadal was rampant when he broke early in the second, but Thiem raised his game to force a break point when Nadal served at 4-2 - a game in which the Spaniard was warned for slow play. "But I can't always be thinking of more", he said.

Rafael Nadal described his performance at the French Open a year ago, when he didn't surrender a set, as "perfect". For most of his straight-set win over Dominic Thiem in the Roland Garros final, he did just that.

"It's incredible now, I can't describe my feelings", Nadal told the crowd on Philippe Chatrier Court moments after capturing his 17th Grand Slam trophy with a 6-4 6-3 6-2 victory. He's a good friend, one of these players that the tour needs.

Nadal won his sixth French Open title by defeating Federer once more in Paris. Only two players have ever come from two sets down to beat the Spaniard, and neither of those occasions was on his favourite surface. Between the pair, the two all-time greats have now won the last six Slams.

Is there even Wimbledon without the “RF” brand
Is there even Wimbledon without the “RF” brand

Is Nadal upset to still be trailing Federer by three slams, despite his phenomenal feats over the past year?

"I am just trying to keep enjoying, and keep playing until my body resist, and my happiness still high playing tennis".

Rafael Nadal produced the inevitable on Sunday evening (June 10).

Seventh seed Thiem arrived on a sultry Court Philippe Chatrier with three career wins over Nadal, all on clay, and in an absorbing first set lasting an hour showed why ― going toe-to-toe in some ferocious rallies.

Thiem, playing in his first Grand Slam final, simply had few answers to Nadal's brilliance.

Nadal has won six of his nine matches against Thiem, all of them coming on that famously hard red clay.

But Thiem, unusually standing up to Nadal's first serve, forced two break points in the next game and converted the second with a flashing forehand into the right corner.

That seemed to unsettle him and he played poor game that culiminated in a wild backhand going long to give him the lead.

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