Rafael Nadal clinches record-extending 11th French Open title

Seventh seed Thiem arrived on a sultry Court Philippe Chatrier with three career wins over Nadal, all on clay, and in an absorbing first set lasting an hour showed why ― going toe-to-toe in some ferocious rallies.

Rafael Nadal, the tennis superstar leading men's rankings, has clinched a record-extending 11th French Open win after beating eight-ranked Dominic Thiem in straight sets to defend his title.

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.

- Nadal became the first man to beat Federer in a Slam final, ending the Swiss star's hopes of holding all four majors at the same time. But after, the Spaniard was imperious.

The 16-time Grand Slam appeared to be coasting in the third, but a break up at 2-1, the Spaniard began to struggle with what appeared to be cramp in his middle finger. At the following changeover, Nadal was given a salt pill by a doctor and had his left forearm massaged by a trainer.

We picked up a victor in Friday's semi-final with Rafa Nadal comprehensively thrashing Juan Martin Del Potro, to cover the -6.5 game handicap easily.

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Nadal held for 5-4, and Thiem basically handed over the next game - and the set - with four mistakes. He persists at his punishing physicality and pounding shots even 13 long and grinding years after the wonder from the Spanish island of Mallorca debuted at Roland Garros with sleeveless shirts, clam-digger shorts, shoulder-length hair and MMA muscles, and, two days after his 19th birthday, won his first title and said, "I fight every point, every point, no?" The Austrian won just one of the first nine points as Nadal immediately broke for 2-0.

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"Rafa, I just want to say well done", he said at the post-match presentation.

"What you did and what you are doing is the most outstanding thing an athlete can achieve in sport", the 24-year-old said. In the other semi-final, Marco Cecchinato's odd run in the last two weeks was ended by Dominic Thiem, also in straight sets, although the first two sets were somewhat closer than anything Del Potro could muster. He staved off 12 of 17 break points and converted one of three he earned.

Nadal celebrated in relatively low key fashion, but then there is not much novelty value in this.

"I am sure you will win here in the next couple of years", Nadal told Thiem afterward.

In a 10-minute second game of the second set, Thiem suffered more trauma. "Of course, I have ambition, I have passion for what I am doing, but I never have been insane about all this kind of stuff", Nadal told a news conference.

Thiem stayed with Nadal in the early going on a cloudy and steamy afternoon; the temperature was 77 degrees (24 Celsius), the humidity approached 70 per cent.

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