The scoreline of Nadal's 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Dominic Thiem, which delivered a scarcely believable 11th French Open, might suggest that this match grew easier as it went on. While Nadal subdued him in straight sets in the final, it still registered as a breakthrough performance for the Austrian, who was faced with a daunting draw.
Not that 17-times Grand Slam champion Nadal, whose latest feat is all the more remarkable considering he was sidelined for several weeks this year due to injury, is pre-occupied with trying to keep up with his Swiss rival.
In the intense heat of battle, with Nadal seemingly occupying every metre of the tennis court, Thiem was the first to crack.
Nadal retained the momentum in the second set, breaking his opponent in the second game and holding out to edge closer to yet another title at Roland Garros. But after, the Spaniard was imperious. At the following changeover, Nadal was given a salt pill by a doctor and had his left forearm massaged by a trainer.
The win helped him extend his incredible run at Roland Garros to 66 wins and just one defeat over 10 years.
Thiem wasted a break point in the seventh game as Nadal collected a time violation for taking too long to serve.
Nadal joins Australia's Margaret Court as the only player to win 11 titles at the same major.
Swoosh and the Swiss Federer has spent best part of 20 years with Nike
Nadal is keen to overtake the 36-year-old in the future, although he is adamant that it's not worth obsessing over.
While we have an edge here, I appreciate that backing a heavy odds-on shot isn't most people's cup of tea, so the game handicap should be a viable proposition.
Federer could also further establish a lead depending on how well he does at the Stuttgart Open after crashing out in the round of 16 past year to Tommy Haas.
He again also shattered Federer's hopes of becoming only the third man in history to hold all four majors. No, you can't be frustrated always if somebody have more money than you, if somebody have a bigger house than you, if somebody have more Grand Slams than you. There is not much more daunting of a task than doing so against Nadal at the French Open, where he is now 11-0 in finals and 86-2 overall. You can't live with that feeling, no?
"Yes, and it's going to take probably one or two more years", said Gunter Bresnik, Thiem's coach. Both losses came against Thiem.
Rafael Nadal described his performance at the French Open a year ago, when he didn't surrender a set, as "perfect".
'But I never have been insane about all this kind of stuff. Later when Nadal had lost in Madrid Masters to Thiem, he was once again crowned the number one only to be snatched away by the Spaniard following his victory at Rome Masters. He is entered into the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's Club, starting a week today.More news: Master Chief Is Back in the Stunning New Halo Infinite Trailer
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