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Rafael Nadal secures 11th French Open title

10 June 2018

There are only two ways with which Dominic Thiem can beat Rafael Nadal in the French Open finals, according to Catherine Whitaker.

The 32-year-old Spaniard also secured his 17th major trophy, which moves him within three of great rival Roger Federer's all-time record.

If there were any reason for a bit of intrigue entering Sunday's match, it was this: Thiem beat Nadal in two sets on red clay at Rome in May 2017 and again at Madrid last month.

The 24-year old, who is making his Grand Slam final debut, has already lost twice to Nadal in Paris, but said that he has a strategy already worked out. In the other semi-final, Marco Cecchinato's unusual 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.

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A left hand cramp in the third and final set proved to be no real obstacle for Nadal, the Spaniard showing he was approaching his best form ahead of the grass court season. At the following changeover, Nadal was given a salt pill by a doctor and had his left forearm massaged by a trainer.

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.

Either Federer or Nadal has captured each of the last six Grand Slam championships.

Some wishful anticipation had been made of the fact that, 30 days prior, Thiem had beaten Nadal on the clay of Madrid, but Thiem reminded everyone Friday that the clay of Madrid is not the clay of Paris.

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Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Thiem stayed with Nadal in the early going on a steamy afternoon.

Nadal, however, turned the screw in the 10th game and Thiem seemed to grow nervous, sending a forehand long to hand his opponent the opening set.

Nadal had 12 unforced errors.

Still, Nadal was able to complete the job on court Philippe-Chatrier.

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Rafael Nadal secures 11th French Open title