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Rafael Nadal secures 11th French Open title

12 June 2018

The victory also allowed the 32-year-old Nadal to hold onto the No. 1 ranking, ahead of Federer.

Rafael Nadal's quest for an 11th French Open title continues, as the top-seeded Spaniard reached the men's final with a straight-sets win over Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals on Friday. That would move him to within three of the all-time mark of 20 held by Roger Federer. And for good reason.

Thiem reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros the previous two years, but this is the 24-year-old's first grand slam final.

Nadal‚ a 16-time Grand Slam champion‚ claimed his 85th win in Paris against just two losses after weathering a big-hitting opening from 2009 US Open victor Del Potro to win 6-4‚ 6-1‚ 6-2.

Thiem, who beat Nadal in Madrid this season, Rome past year and in Buenos Aires on clay in 2016, trails 3-6 in the pair's head-to-head.

"Against Dominic Thiem‚ he is top 10‚ and today all the people were for me".

He probably felt as though he had been, as Nadal completed a devastating 6-4 6-1 6-2 victory.

"Second thing, if you don't feel the pressure, it's because you don't love the sport", said Nadal, who has never failed to win the title in Paris after reaching the semi-finals.

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There was a sense of inevitability when Del Potro served at 4-5 and Nadal turned the screws to grab two set points at 15-40.

"He's a big favorite against everybody", he told reporters. "I have a plan".

"I lost three times until now and no one died, so it will be OK."- Halep, commenting on whether she's anxious about losing a fourth straight major final. Another forehand victor from Nadal found a corner, and Thiem yelled toward his coach. "He beat really good players". After guzzling water during that break, Nadal felt better and was back to playing his unmistakable brand of almost unbeatable clay-court tennis. "He has the power".

Rafael Nadal has consolidated his lead in the French Open final by breaking Dominic Thiem in the Austrian's first service game of the second set. Nadal had more trouble with another Argentine, the diminutive Diego Schwartzman, in the quarterfinals.

"If I had won the second set, I think it would have been a totally different third set", he explained. Or at least not a blowout. He has undergone four wrist surgeries but the issue, thankfully, was a minor hip complaint.

"He was a little unfortunate‚" said Nadal who reeled off 14 of the last 17 games‚ having seen Del Potro fail to convert any of his seven break points. So there was mild concern when Nadal called for the trainer midway through a game, requiring treatment on what looked like cramp in his hand.

Nadal said of his cramp: "I was very, very scared".

He fired long on a first set point, Nadal saved the second with a jaw-dropping drop shot but on the third, just after the match was interrupted for a few minutes while an unwell spectator was evacuated, Schwartzman unleashed a stunning forehand victor down the line - his 20th victor.

Rafael Nadal secures 11th French Open title