Thursday, February 21, 2019 | ePaper
Nadal sweeps Thiem to claim 11th title at Roland Garros
Xinhua, Paris :
Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during the awarding ceremony after the men's singles final against Dominic Thiem of Austria at the 2018 French Open Tournament in Paris, France on Sunday. Rafael Nadal won 3-0 and claimed the title.
Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal powered past Austrian promising star Dominic Thiem in straight sets here on Sunday, claiming his record-extending 11th title along with an eye-catching 86-2 record at Roland Garros.
Following his 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Thiem in men's singles final at the 2018 French Open, Nadal became the second player in history to have won 11 singles titles at any Grand Slam event after Margaret Court, and the first player in the Open Era to have won 11 titles at three different Tour-level events, as he had done at ATP Monte-Carlo Masters and Barcelona Open.
Tears were clearly seen in Nadal's eyes when he stood on the podium with trophy in his hand.
"It's difficult to explain because it becomes a little bit natural," he said at the press conference. "I achieved much more than what I ever dreamed. But at the same time, it's true that I went through tough moments, a lot of times in terms of injuries."
Nadal, who led 6-3 in previous head-to-heads, broke Thiem's service in the second game, before the Austrian had his own response to move level at 2-all through a break.
Thiem was the only player to have defeated Nadal on clay prior to Roland Garros for the second straight year, and his quarterfinal victory over Nadal at the Madrid Masters snapped the Spaniard's 50-set winning streak on clay.
He displayed his lethal weapon of single-handed backhand, while being troubled by unfavorable performance on his first serves, conceding the first set 6-4.
Thiem already suffered four double faults despite four aces at the start of the second set, while Nadal maintained all of his serves in the second set to move a step further at 6-3.
Thiem save three break points to hold his service into the third set, but the "King of Clay" responded by fully exhibiting his powerful forehand for astute winners.