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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Unstoppable Nadal seals 11th French Open title

World number one 6-1 for Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal celebrates his title
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Rafael Nadal joined Margaret Court as the only player to win 11 titles in a Grand Slam tournament when he defeated Dominic Thiem 6-4 6-3 6-2 in the final of the French Open.

The Spaniard has lost only two matches at Roland Garros since taking his first title there in 2005 and Nadal, who was just 2-5 for Paris glory before the tournament started, dropped only 64 games in the course of taking his latest title.

World number one Nadal is 6-1 for Wimbledon, which starts in three weeks, behind 17-10 market leader Roger Federer, who missed the first half of the clay season.

But it’s eight years since Nadal, who is also the reigning US Open champion, held sway at the London grass-court Slam and seven years since he last made the final there.

As was the case for much of the fortnight in Paris, Nadal was mostly in control against Slam final debutant Thiem, who was hoping to become Austria’s second Slam champion after 1995 French Open hero Thomas Muster.

However, the seventh seed, 24, had definite opportunities on Philippe Chatrier Court to blunt the charge of his 32-year-old opponent and Thiem will have been disappointed with his final tally of just nine games won.

Thiem is 28-1 to go one better at the All England Club in the coming weeks, but grass would have to go down as his weakest surface so he makes little appeal at the current odds.

After claiming his 17th Slam crown, Nadal, who was also victorious in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome on clay in recent months, remains the one to beat at Roland Garros.

But even though there is little to suggest Nadal’s domination on the Paris clay will end any time soon, it will be a surprise if the Majorcan legend goes off as short in Paris next year.


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The Spaniard has lost only two matches at Roland Garros since taking his first title there in 2005
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