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

Rafael Nadal wins another French Open crown

This historical analysis doesn't lend itself to fancying Thiem's chances of denying Nadal an 11th French Open title this afternoon, and neither did my model pricing either.

After Roland Garros, Nadal's win-loss record on clay stands at 415-36. The crowd responded, initially offering polite applause, then adding their voices, rising into a full-throated roar.

A left hand cramp in the third and final set proved to be no real obstacle for Nadal, the Spaniard showing he was approaching his best form ahead of the grass court season. "I was very scared".

It's also his 17th career major title.

Seemingly cruising to victory, that's when Nadal called for the trainer.

In 11 finals in Paris, Nadal has only lost six sets as he matched the all-time record of most singles titles won at the same Grand Slam event set by Margaret Court at the Australian Open during the 1960s and 70s.

The top-seeded Nadal won the match 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 at Roland Garros in Paris against Thiem, a 24-year-old who is ranked No. 7.

"I am sure you will win here in the next couple of years", Nadal told Thiem afterward.

But that's the best-of-three sets and in different, faster conditions. He attempted drop shots; some worked, some didn't. Thiem making unforced errors.

It worked. For a bit.

However, the exchange - with over £1.2 million traded on the match already - has Nadal as a [1.26] favourite, which is around a 6% difference in implied odds percentage and certainly enough to be actionable value.

From 4-all, 15-all in the opening set, Thiem faltered.

But at 4-5 Thiem's serve let him down badly, handing Nadal three set points. A volley into the net.

There seemed a sense of inevitability about the contest when Nadal consolidated his lead by taking advantage in the Austrian's first service game of the second set with his fifth break-point opportunity.

Soon, Nadal was finding his spots. One down-the-line forehand victor landed right at the baseline and Thiem's shoulders sagged as he muttered to himself. Another forehand victor from Nadal followed, and this time Thiem looked up toward his coach and yelled. His finger bent awkwardly and he pulled at it.

The trophy was carried into the Court Philippe Chatrier in a brown box during a brief ceremony before play begins and unveiled by the two stars of music and screen.

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