Rafael Nadal wins 11th French Open title, dominates rival in straight sets

Marian Vajda makes big admission about Novak Djokovic's level

Marian Vajda makes big admission about Novak Djokovic's level

Rafael Nadal roared to French Open title number 11 with a straight-sets demolition of Dominic Thiem.

Nadal is the only second player in history to win the same Grand Slam on 11 occasions after Margaret Court, who won 11 Australian Open titles between 1960 and 1973.

- Nadal coasts to a record 10th French Open title, demolishing Wawrinka in a brutally one-sided final which also earns the Spaniard a 15th Grand Slam crown.

Nadal remained implacable in the homestretch, intent on ignoring his temporarily impaired hand, outracing the rainclouds that hovered close and low but didn't erupt, and trying to outrun, outhit and outwit a player who was 11 years old when he won his first title here in 2005.

The 32-year-old world number one now has 17 Grand Slam titles, just three behind great rival Roger Federer.

Across the last 12 months on clay, Nadal has held serve 88.7% to Thiem's 85.7% (3.0% edge) while breaking opponents 50.0% to 30.1% (19.9% edge), and this incredible advantage he has on return was a big factor in me pricing Nadal as a [1.17] favourite to lift the trophy today. Thiem was hammering every ball that he could, and Nadal was responding with his classic clay court defense. At the following changeover, he was given a salt pill by a doctor and had his left forearm massaged by a trainer.

Well, Nadal has answered that question now without too much trouble.

Nadal also did not win the title in 2016, as he withdrew with an injury before his third-round match.

"Rafael Nadal is at 75 percent, is that enough to beat Thiem?"

The Austrian pushed Nadal hard early on but his spirit appeared crushed when the Spaniard won his service game to love to secure the first set, going on to win 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. Federer's 11 are at Wimbledon, and if Nadal beats Thiem on Sunday, he'll keep his flawless French final mark; he's never lost in the ultimate match at this event.

After winning 26 of his 27 matches throughout the European claycourt season and 81 of his last 86 sets on clay, there is nothing to suggest Nadal's domination in Paris will end soon.

But the Austrian freed his shoulders and broke back in the third game with a forehand victor - pumping his fists in the direction of coach Gunter Bresnik.

The Austrian won just one point in falling 2-0 behind but got back on serve immediately courtesy of two pinpoint forehands, and three rescued break points over games four and six were further evidence of his growing confidence. After Nadal held there for 5-4, Thiem basically handed over the next game - and the set - by making four mistakes in a row. If standard play would likely lead to a loss, why not try for the spectacular, instead?

Understandably, Thiem looked edgy as the match begun and he managed to win only one of the first eight points as Nadal, cheered loudly when he walked on court, bristled with intent. Those conditions might have contributed to the cramping that affected Nadal about two hours into the final, at 2-1 in the third set.

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