Even the eleventh french open triumph brings nadal to tears

even the eleventh french open triumph brings nadal to tears

With the silver musketeer cup in his strong arms, rafael nadal still had tears even at the eleventh french open triumph.

No sooner had the 32-year-old received the victory trophy from australia’s former tennis great ken rosewall than the best sand court player in history was overmanned to the warm applause of the 15.000 spectators in paris the feelings.

The record-breaking champion fended off the attack of dominic thiem, who 23 years after thomas muster wanted to become the second austrian to win a grand slam title in the stade roland garros, with a commanding 6:4, 6:3, 6:2 win. "I’m sure you’ll win here soon," nadal said at the award ceremony. Thiem was a very fair loser: "what you do is one of the most extraordinary things an athlete has ever achieved," the 24-year-old said.

Nadal also keeps the world ranking ahead of roger federer and after the 17. Grand slam titles only three less than the record winner from switzerland. Another 45-year-old best mark set by nadal: only australian margaret court has won the same grand slam tournament eleven times so far at the australian open.

"This is really unbelievable. I am very satisfied, I played my best match in the tournament," said nadal in the winner’s interview in french. "It is impossible to dream of winning here eleven times."Thiem initially sat dejectedly on the bench despite nadal’s praise, but then drew a positive tournament balance sheet. "When you won here for the first time, i was eleven years old. I never thought that one day I would play against you in the final."

Thiem needed a few minutes to get going in the most important match of his career so far and immediately lost his serve to 0:2. With the immediate rebreak he was in the match and tried to put nadal under pressure mostly with his forehand. That often worked, but at 4:5 thiem showed nerves again, gave nadal the next break and after almost an hour of playing time the set.

The defending champion went into the tenth duel of the two with a lot of respect, because thiem has already won three of them, and only recently was he successful in madrid, also there on sand. At the french open with somewhat different conditions, however, nadal was clearly superior in both previous comparisons. He still has two defeats on his record there – with 86 victories now.

In front of the 15,000 spectators at the court philippe chatrier, among them reals madrid’s former french coach zinedine zidane, nadal took the lead in the back to 3-0 in the second set. His furrowed left-handed forehand was less of a help than thiem’s many errors. The man from lower austria often looked perplexed and frustrated in the direction of his box.

When nadal missed four chances to take the serve from thiem right at the beginning of the third set, the fans woke up and hoped for a more exciting and even better final match. For a short time he did, before the powerhouse from mallorca forced the early decision against the resigned world number eight. After 2:43 hours, nadal used his fifth match point to clinch an elusive eleventh triumph in paris, 13 years after his first triumph.

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