Rafael Nadal: French Open champion's secret to success revealed

Can you see Thiem denying Nadal a record-extending 11th title at Roland Garros?

Rafael Nadal described his performance at the French Open past year, when he didn't surrender a set, as "perfect".

Sunday marked the first time Nadal had faced a player from a younger tennis generation in a Grand Slam final.

Thiem was appearing in his first Grand Slam final but entered as the man to have ended Nadal's 21-match winning streak on clay and his streak of 50 straight sets won on his favourite surface in Madrid, last month.

He hit a forehand long for 0-30 and then hit another forehand into the net to gift Nadal three set points.

In a 10-minute second game of the second set, Thiem suffered more trauma. He converted the second to make the score 2-1.

Play has begun in the men's final of the French Open, with Rafael Nadal comfortably holding serve to love in the first game.

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

The players, male or female, with the next highest number of singles titles at the same major are Martina Navratilova (9, Wimbledon), followed by Roger Federer (8, Wimbledon), Serena Williams (7, Australian Open and Wimbledon), Steffi Graf and Pete Sampras (7, both at Wimbledon), Federer and Novak Djokovic (6, both at the Australian Open), Graf and Bjorn Borg (6, both at the French Open) and Serena (6, US Open).

The No. 6-seeded pairing from the Czech Republic beat Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya of Japan 6-3, 6-3 on Sunday.

Siniakova was the doubles runner-up at last year's U.S. Open with a different partner.

In contrast, there are eight women now younger than 28 who have been Grand Slam singles finalists.

Nadal has been crowned the French Open champion an incredible 11 times, following successes in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017. Nadal's streak began at Roland Garros a year ago and was ended by Thiem, who beat the Spaniard in straight sets in the quarterfinals of the Madrid Open.

The problem for the 24-year-old was that his serve wasn't co-operating. There is a slight chance of rain, but not until later in the afternoon after 5pm.

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