Rafael Nadal beats Dominic Thiem for 11th French Open title

The Spaniard also became the first man in the Open Era to win at least 400 matches on both clay and hard courts.

"Nadal absolutely did admit that he gets nervous", Whitaker said. Its neck-in-neck in the first game.

But Thiem showed resilience in getting two break points on Nadal's serve.

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Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is in the crowd enjoying a close-fought French Open final between Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem. That led to 34 winners (eight more than Nadal), but also 42 unforced errors (18 more than Nadal). Its all square now in the first set, 2-2.

That was swatted away with Nadal's double-handed backhand, though, and the second set duly went the way of the favourite. Thiem keeps his nerves takes 40-15 lead. The Austrian won just one of the first nine points as Nadal immediately broke for 2-0. 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. The Argentine ended Nadal's run of 37 consecutive sets in a rain-delayed quarter-final before the Spaniard won the contest upon the resumption on Thursday under glorious blue skies. Quicker clay conditions - Rome, and in particular, Madrid, seem to be something of a leveller. Across the other slow-medium clay venues - Monte Carlo, Barcelona and here - Nadal has utterly schooled Thiem.

Rafael Nadal has taken the first set of his French Open final against Dominic Thiem. Nadal and Thiem have met nine times - all of them on clay. Nadal, Federer, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray - the so-called Big Four - have dominated the men's game to such a degree that Thiem is only the second player now younger than 28 to have reached a major singles final.

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