Nadal vs Thiem For The Roland Garros Title

Nadal vs Thiem For The Roland Garros Title

Rafael Nadal ended the clay-court season with an emphatic 11th French Open title and now the ATP Tour swiftly swaps over to grass with Roger Federer making his return. The red clay is running through the hourglass, and there's more piled at the bottom than there is left at the top.

Understandably, Thiem looked edgy at the start and he managed to win only one of the first eight points as Nadal, cheered loudly when he walked on court, bristled with intent. Could he shock the world and defeat Nadal at Roland Garros?

Veteran pair Nadal and Federer have won the past six Grand Slams as their younger rivals struggle to dislodge them at the pinnacle of the game. "The watch keep going always", he said.

Well, we never thought we'd see the day, but that rather exciting prospect came true during the Laver Cup in Prague a year ago.

Nadal has never lost a best-of-five match on clay after winning the first set, and Thiem was unable to change that equation.

For an instant, before it became clear that he could continue, the unthinkable seemed possible. With age on Nadal's side, it is quite obvious that fans expect him to overhaul the Swiss legend. "I was not (in) control of my finger". "So, yeah, I just went straight to my chair because I went - I didn't know even what I did". Its all square now in the first set, 2-2. It is also Thiem's third consecutive appearance in the final of this respective tournament. Some paying customers at Philippe Chatrier or watching from a distance may have shared that sentiment - a predictable yearning for a close, competitive encounter.

Nadal, who also won the titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome this year, is entered for the Queen's Club warm-up tournament starting next week but says he will consult with his team, including coach Carlos Moya, over the next few days.

"Of course I would love to have 20, like Roger, in the future - or even more", Nadal said Sunday evening after beating Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in the final at Roland Garros, "but being honest, (it's) something that is not in my mind".

LONDON ENGLAND- JULY 08 Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates during the Men's Singles Semi Final match against Milos Raonic of Canada on day eleven of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8
Swoosh and the Swiss Federer has spent best part of 20 years with Nike

The first set of the match was competitive.

Nadal's victory on Sunday meant that the last seven Slams have been shared between players who are 30 and over.

But the best laid plans have been ground to earth by Nadal. He staved off 12 of 17 break points and converted one of three he earned. It was his 45th career clay-court title.

Two breaks later Nadal was in a familiar position, serving for the title, and when another Thiem forehand dropped long, his arms were raised in celebration, yet again. "Actually, when he won here the first four or five times, I was always watching it". I had a long and mentally tough clay court season, of course, because I played nearly all the matches possible after coming from an injury.

"Still, I'm disappointed, of course".

"I've never been insane about this kind of stuff".

"The fact that I could be No 1 in the world past year gave me confidence and gave me, like, a little bit of relief, because I touched something, something big, something huge", Halep said, "and I just had in my mind to win a Grand Slam after that".

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