Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Lesser known facts about Rafael Nadal -- the 2018 French Open champion

Lesser known facts about Rafael Nadal -- the 2018 French Open champion

It leaves Nadal just three adrift of the 20 grand slam titles won by Federer, who returns to action on the ATP Tour for the first time since March at the Stuttgart Open, having opted to skip the clay-court season for the second year running.

Nadal clinched an 11th French Open with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory against Dominic Thiem on Sunday to take his majors total to 17.

Throw in three titles at the US Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the Australian Open, and Nadal is up to 17 majors, second among men only to Roger Federer's 20.

According to ESPN, Nadal is now the first player in the Open era, male or female, to win the same Grand Slam tournament 11 times.

Paris - If Benjamin Franklin were alive today, he'd have to amend his belief that death and taxes are life's only certainties and add a third - Rafael Nadal winning the French Open. The clay of Paris is the clay of Nadal, who has fallen in victory six times to his back and thrice to his knees, plus the two occasions standing, winding up 10 times behind the baseline and one sprawled between the service boxes, living a single dream of many so very many times.

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.

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. I expect a lot from him in the coming months. She was the first reigning women's champion to lose her opening match at the French Open since 2004.

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"It's really incredible. I played a great match against a great player", said Nadal.

"Ten years ago, it was Rafa and Roger", Juan Martin del Potro said after losing to Nadal in the French Open semifinals, nine years after he lost to Federer at that stage, "and now it's always the same".

While we have an edge here, I appreciate that backing a heavy odds-on shot isn't most people's cup of tea, so the game handicap should be a viable proposition.

"Last year I felt that I had a good opportunity to go far in the tournament".

Austria's Dominic Thiem strained every sinew trying to cling on to the 32-year-old Spaniard and at times even gained a precarious foothold in his first grand slam final. Of course decide what's better for my body.

It was hard not to feel sympathy for Thiem, playing in his first Grand Slam final against a man who simply does not lose this particular battle. "I am enjoying the moment". No, you can't be frustrated always if somebody has more money than you, if somebody have a bigger house than you, if somebody have more Grand Slams than you. Thiem, 24, is the only player to beat Nadal on clay in the past two years.

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