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Same result, different day for French Open champion Rafael Nadal

Same result, different day for French Open champion Rafael Nadal

ESPN's Nicolas Pereira breaks down Rafael Nadal's record 11th French Open title following his win in straight sets over Austria's Dominic Thiem.

Sunday at the French Open sees Rafa Nadal and Dominic Thiem take to the courts in the men's singles final, and our tennis columnist, Dan Weston, is back to preview the encounter.

Thiem, now 24 and ranked a career-high No. 7 following his first major final, said he enjoyed seeing Nadal thundering away from the comfort of his childhood couch far more than trying to field the lightning bolts coming at him across the net Sunday.

After the victory - which saw Nadal claim his 17th Grand Slam title in total, just three behind Roger Federer's all-time record of 20 - social media was quick to laud the 32-year-old's staggering achievement.

The number of Grand Slam finals now contested by Nadal, extending his position at second on the men's Open Era leaderboard, behind Federer (30) and ahead of Djokovic (21) and Lendl (19). He pounded huge serves that topped 135 miles per hour - about 25 miles per hour better than Nadal's fastest - and translated into seven aces but also had five double faults.

Nadal called on the trainer to get his forearms massaged twice in the final set but even that problem failed to improve Thiem's chances of emulating fellow Austrian Thomas Muster's 1995 triumph.

His lead was reminiscent of their semifinal at the French Open previous year, when Nadal also held the early advantage. Nadal's "La Decima" was his 10th French Open, and he managed it without dropping a set throughout the tournament. "When someone wins 11 times here, for me it's unbelievable", he told reporters.

Nadal defeated fifth seed Juan Martin Del Potro 6-4 6-1 6-2 in the semi-finals and afterwards the Argentine said it is "almost impossible" to beat Nadal on clay.

Here are the list of numbers behind Rafael Nadal's 11th French Open crown. The Austrian followed that point up with three consecutive errors, and the first set went to the Spaniard.

At 2-1 in the fourth set, Nadal stopped serving during a game because he couldn't straighten his left middle finger.

Thiem put up a good fight in his opening service game of the third set, saving four breakpoints. Only Thiem's 2016 victory over Nadal in Buenos Aires was a success on non-quick clay. But from 4-all in the opening set, Nadal grabbed five games in a row and was in charge.

- Nadal condemned his great rival to his worst ever loss in a Grand Slam event. Thiem began to play better as the set went on, and it was only one break, but he could never earn it back, and Nadal won the second set 6-3. Nadal is 49-2 since 2017 when playing on clay.

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