Dominic Thiem hails 'awesome' King of Clay Nadal after French Open defeat

Roger Federer

But it all starts over again at Roland Garros.

Nadal had come into the year's second Grand Slam high on confidence, after wins in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome.

Nadal defeated Dominic Thiem in three straight sets of 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in just 2 hours and 42 minutes. "The watch keep going always". So that's it. If you tell me seven, eight years ago that I will be here at 32 years old having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is something nearly impossible, but here we are. To win 11 times here - it's fantastic and not something I ever dreamed of.

"But it's time to check how I feel in the next couple of days".

Nadal endured a nervy conclusion to the final, however, when he needed treatment in the fourth game of the third set for a finger injury before sealing victory on a fifth match point when Thiem fired a backhand long.

Nadal showed he still has a burning desire for success at the age of 32, but said he is not motivated by chasing down long-time rival Federer.

"Earlier in the tournament during (Robin) Haase against (David) Goffin they said "no you're not allowed any treatment, you have got to get on and play with it". I know I've had an awesome career so I want to keep fighting for these things". The Philippe Chatrier is his court, he decides the pace and the tempo.

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And he increased the tempo further, consigning Thiem to defeat in his first major final when the Austrian sent a return long.

In a world bustling with ball-maulers yearning to topple euphorically onto Roland Garros clay or merely stand and raise the arms skyward in triumph just once in life, Rafael Nadal did so Sunday for a preposterous 11th time, even while choosing the standing option for only the second. "It was just bad misses".

"He [Thiem] hasn't won this year, but surely he'll have many more opportunities to lift a major championship". "And, of course, it was not nice to lose the first set, but still it was not a key point of today".

Rafael Nadal admitted that he was "very scared" after he suffered a cramp to his left wrist during the third set of the French Open final against Dominic Thiem on Sunday.

He only dropped one more game as he completed his 86th win at Roland Garros in 2hr 42min. When he first halted play, Nadal removed that tape, which he said let his circulation improve. I think the grass is better than in the past years. "Of course, it's really a great thing that I made my way and that I was competing in a final against him". I have passion for what I am doing.

"I never thought I'd achieve this milestone, it's impossible to describe what I'm feeling".

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