Nadal wins his 11th French Open title

Rafael Nadal will remain at the top of the ATP rankings

Spain's Rafael Nadal defeated Austria's Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in the final of the French Open on Sunday to win the season's second Grand Slam for a record 11th time. He won four of his five matches in straight sets, including a 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory over fifth-seeded Juan Martin del Potro in the semifinals. At the following changeover, Nadal was given a salt pill by a doctor and had his left forearm massaged by a trainer.

The 32-year-old Spaniard is also vying for his 17th major trophy, which would move him within three of Roger Federer.

After winning just one point in the first two games, Thiem dragged himself back into the contest, only to throw away the opening set with an erratic 10th game as he was broken to love.

Ever since winning his first title at Roland Garros as a 19-year-old in 2005, Nadal has owned the red dirt.

Nadal, in an on-court interview, also said he's sure that runner-up Thiem will win the tournament in "the next couple of years". Frances Tiafoe, Jared Donaldson and the other young Americans are all capable of playing solid tennis on clay but it will take some time before some of them improve their game on the slowest surface up to the level of competing with the finest players on this surface. Thiem stayed with Nadal in the early going on a steamy afternoon.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Thiem, who was trying to become only the second Austrian Grand Slam champion after Tomas Muster's 1995 Paris triumph, played his part in the two hour 42 minute tussle but was unable to sustain the high-octane tennis needed to ruffle Nadal.

Rafael Nadal suffered a cramp which required immediate medical timeout
Rafael Nadal suffered a cramp which required immediate medical timeout

A well-disguised drop shot served him well at 30-40 down in game three but in opting for power soon afterwards he netted a forehand, affording Nadal another break chance that was gobbled up.

A wild, misguided forehand sealed his fate, one of 18 unforced errors to Nadal's 12 in the set.

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is in the crowd enjoying a close-fought French Open final between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem.

He displayed his lethal weapon of single-handed backhand, while being troubled by unfavorable performance on his first serves, conceding the first set 6-4.

Thiem was 11 at the time.

Many consider Thiem to be the second-best clay-court player in the world. After guzzling water during his visit from the doctor, Nadal was back to playing his unmistakable brand of almost unbeatable clay-court tennis.

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